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

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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 For the Wild, the shootout win helped them extend their season-long point streak to nine games, while exorcising some overtime demons in the process. Dane Mizutani, Twin Cities, "Fitting Finnish: Wild captain Mikko Koivu plays hero in 1,000th career game," 1 Dec. 2019 Saturday was a day to exorcise demons, finishing the season of the sport’s most storied franchise. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "José Altuve's walkoff homer sends Astros to World Series," 19 Oct. 2019 The valley’s inhabitants enlisted the services of the bishop of Geneva to exorcise the implacable ice floe. The Economist, "Death in the Alps," 20 Dec. 2019 American environmentalism has worked hard to exorcise eugenics and colonial conquest from its movements. Sam Adler-bell, The New Republic, "Why White Supremacists Are Hooked on Green Living," 24 Sep. 2019 The Tigers exorcised eight years of agony with a 46-41 win at Alabama. George Schroeder, USA TODAY, "Football Four: After beating 'Bama, LSU shoots all the way to the top," 10 Nov. 2019 Ease with unease Like Shirley Jackson, Paul Tremblay, who lives outside Boston, traffics in horror both straightforward and oblique, exorcising the monstrous within us as much as the monsters in the shadows, the woods, under the bed. Nina Maclaughlin, BostonGlobe.com, "Claire Millikin finds poetry amid the pines of Maine in ‘Ransom Street’," 7 Aug. 2019 And in their telling offer a therapeutic vehicle for exorcising the terror and fear that gripped people during the storm’s worst periods—a storm that swirled above them for two whole nerve-wracking days. Richard Kurin, Smithsonian, "Rescuing Bahamian Culture," 1 Sep. 2019 Cristobal’s program has already exorcised a couple of demons this season, beating Stanford and winning at Washington. John Canzano | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Canzano: Oregon Ducks get an uplifting win and get Mike Leach off their back," 27 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for exorcise

Time Traveler

The first known use of exorcise was in 1539

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Statistics for exorcise

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Exorcise.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exorcise. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for exorcise


How to pronounce exorcise (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of exorcise

: to force (an evil spirit) to leave

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More from Merriam-Webster on exorcise

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for exorcise

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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