ex·​or·​cise | \ˈek-ˌsȯr-ˌsīz, -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

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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

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 The Soviet Union, a global superpower, disintegrated, and the specter of communism was exorcised from the continent. Jonathan Bradley, Billboard, "Dream Up the World You're Gonna Live In: How U2's 'Zooropa' Got the Future Wrong, 25 Years Later," 5 July 2018 In the past, Williams has often looked to be exorcising personal demons in the latter stages of major tournaments — the power in her strokes matched by the fire in her eyes. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Serena Williams, Enjoying Every Moment, Is Back in the Wimbledon Final," 12 July 2018 The Selecao, meanwhile, have failed to exorcise the demons of 2014, falling short again in their attempts to reclaim their status as football's greatest with this latest loss. SI.com, "Neymar Dives, Belgium High-Fives & Lukaku Thrives - Twitter Reacts to Incredible World Cup Clash," 6 July 2018 But at least one lingering demon may have been exorcised. Massimo Calabresi, Time, "With Justice Kennedy Gone, It's Trump's Court Now," 28 June 2018 Never has exorcising an ex's ghost looked so gleeful and oddly romantic. Lisa Bonos, chicagotribune.com, "Can smashing a car heal a broken heart? The best, worst and weirdest moments from 'The Bachelorette'," 5 June 2018 Shugart exorcised his demons between innings and emerged from the dugout a new man. Nick Moyle, Houston Chronicle, "Kody Clemens' walkoff homer lifts UT over TCU," 18 May 2018 Shugart exorcised his demons between innings and returned with an altered deamanor. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Clemens’ game-winning homer lifts Texas over TCU," 18 May 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.

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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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Statistics for exorcise

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for exorcise

The first known use of exorcise was in 1539

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More Definitions for exorcise



English Language Learners Definition of exorcise

: to force (an evil spirit) to leave

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Comments on exorcise

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playful or foolish behavior

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