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

transitive verb

: to expel (an evil spirit) by adjuration
: to get rid of (something troublesome, menacing, or oppressive)
: to free of an evil spirit
exorciser noun

Example Sentences

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 Kawhi Leonard sustained a knee injury in the series, and the Clippers pivoted, relying on Lowell native Terance Mann and Boston College standout Reggie Jackson to exorcise the demons from last year’s second-round elimination at the hands of the Nuggets. BostonGlobe.com, 1 Aug. 2021 The Millers didn’t lose to a single game to an Oregon Class 5A opponent in the 2022-23 season and were able to exorcise a demon on Friday night in Gill Coliseum with a 44-29 win over the very Crescent Valley team that ended their season in tears a year ago. oregonlive, 10 Mar. 2023 Exes are to be exorcised from one's life in as messy and showy a way as possible. Rory Appleton, The Indianapolis Star, 16 Feb. 2023 Center and, in the process, exorcising ghosts of last year’s agonizing loss to the Bluejays. Staff Reports, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Mar. 2023 Trump, after all, exorcised the neoconservatives. David Harsanyi, National Review, 16 Mar. 2023 Saturday night, in the Class 4A Sectional 10 final at Warren Central, those demons were exorcised. Lewis Bagley, The Indianapolis Star, 5 Mar. 2023 The franchise premise turns on a malevolent female spirit haunting a heritage property and the efforts of the protagonist to exorcise it. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 1 Mar. 2023 Yes, that team endured one more devastating heartbreak before making a couple more crucial roster moves and exorcising all ghosts the following October. Chad Finn, BostonGlobe.com, 16 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'exorcise.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1539, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of exorcise was in 1539

Dictionary Entries Near exorcise

Cite this Entry

“Exorcise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exorcise. Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


ex·​or·​cise ˈek-ˌsȯr-ˌsīz How to pronounce exorcise (audio)
exorcised; exorcising
: to drive (as an evil spirit) off by calling upon some holy name or by spells

More from Merriam-Webster on exorcise

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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