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

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 Procession gives them the chance to exorcise those demons. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 19 Nov. 2021 Sometimes, the only way to exorcise such demons is by going out again and getting it right the second time. Wynn Mcdonald, The Enquirer, 14 Nov. 2021 On a brisk Halloween night at Truist Park on Sunday, the Atlanta Braves had a chance to exorcise their city’s recent sports demons. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 31 Oct. 2021 Carolina aims to bounce back from a heartbreaking 34-28 overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday afternoon, as quarterback Sam Darnold looks to exorcise his MetLife Stadium demons. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 18 Oct. 2021 At Bloomingdale’s, speaking softly over the din of discount furniture shoppers, Ulman admits that making the film was, in some sense, an attempt to exorcise demons. Rachel Handler, Vulture, 24 Sep. 2021 Corey Crawford made 23 saves to record the victory -- and exorcise some demons after allowing goals in consecutive overtimes in a first-round departure at the hands of the Coyotes last year -- and Toews had a goal and an assist for the Hawks. Kori Rumore, chicagotribune.com, 18 Oct. 2021 But this is, among other things, a vividly eloquent movie about the futility of language, its inability to represent the full scope of our intentions and experiences, much less exorcise our deepest pains. Los Angeles Times, 7 Oct. 2021 Saturday afternoon when New York failed to clinch a playoff berth, the clubs still have nine more innings to cover, one more game to win, a pair of pursuers to fend off, demons to exorcise. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 3 Oct. 2021

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.

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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

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The first known use of exorcise was in 1539

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Last Updated

29 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exorcise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exorcise. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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English Language Learners Definition of exorcise

: to force (an evil spirit) to leave

More from Merriam-Webster on exorcise

Nglish: Translation of exorcise for Spanish Speakers


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