exorcise

verb
ex·​or·​cise | \ ˈek-ˌsȯr-ˌsīz How to pronounce exorcise (audio) , -sər-\
variants: or less commonly exorcize
exorcised also exorcized; exorcising also exorcizing

Definition of exorcise

transitive verb

1a : to expel (an evil spirit) by adjuration
b : to get rid of (something troublesome, menacing, or oppressive)
2 : to free of an evil spirit

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from exorcise

exorciser noun

Examples of exorcise in a Sentence

The movie is about a priest who tries to exorcise demons from a young girl. please exorcise that offensive word from your vocabulary

Recent Examples on the Web

The Bruins’ 1-0 lead subdued a St. Louis crowd yearning for the Cup and yearning to exorcise 50-plus years of demons. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "The Bruins’ first line was first-rate, and they need more of that in Game 7," 10 June 2019 At the end of the video, watched by more than 14 million people so far, Mr. Dud discussed how Russians have not fully exorcised the fear inculcated by Stalin’s legacy. New York Times, "Looking for Free Speech in Russia? Try YouTube," 9 June 2019 Having failed to steer the team to the 2002 World Cup, a lasting regret only matched by the manner of his 2016 exit from Old Trafford, Van Gaal exorcised some of his demons when qualification for the 2014 tournament was comfortably secured. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 1 Day to Go - Tim Krul's Penalty Heroics & the Mad Genius of Louis van Gaal," 13 June 2018 Hoping to exorcise her guilt over that awful incident by discovering what happened to the missing girls, Emma agrees. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: Alpha Females and the Secrets They Keep," 26 July 2018 The ghost of '82 was being exorcised, and despite getting a goal back just after half time, Ireland couldn’t repeat their upset performance from four years before. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 8 Weeks to Go - Emilio 'the Vulture' Butragueño Picks Apart Denmark," 29 Apr. 2018 Nicaragua’s bishops have scheduled a month of prayer and atonement, with special Friday masses to exorcise the evils that plague the country. José De Córdoba |, WSJ, "Church Becomes Target in Nicaragua Crisis," 23 July 2018 Opening up a portal into our deepest, darkest fears and vulnerabilities allows them to be acknowledged, expressed, and exorcised from our being. Polo Tate, Marie Claire, "Sexual Assault in the Military: One Woman's True Story," 8 Aug. 2018 His is not a spectre which can be easily exorcised. SI.com, "Warning Signs: How Sweden's Humble History Makers Survived and Thrived in the Post-Zlatan Era," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exorcise.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of exorcise

1539, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for exorcise

Middle English, from Anglo-French exorciscer, from Late Latin exorcizare, from Greek exorkizein, from ex- + horkizein to bind by oath, adjure, from horkos oath

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about exorcise

Statistics for exorcise

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exorcise

The first known use of exorcise was in 1539

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for exorcise

exorcise

verb

English Language Learners Definition of exorcise

: to force (an evil spirit) to leave

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on exorcise

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with exorcise

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for exorcise

Spanish Central: Translation of exorcise

Nglish: Translation of exorcise for Spanish Speakers

Comments on exorcise

What made you want to look up exorcise? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!