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 Were you preemptively trying to exorcise the hard parts of having a teenager by writing about the difficulties that Laura and Marie grapple with? Kristin Iversen, refinery29.com, "Emily Gould Is Still An Optimist," 15 Apr. 2020 But what's an army compared to exorcising your personal demons by exacting revenge on the people who wronged you? Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Preacher ends third season with a pop, not a bang," 28 Aug. 2018 Then, the goal was to win a championship, singular, to end the drought and the curse, to exorcise all ghosts, to alter Red Sox history for the better after so many agonizing autumns. BostonGlobe.com, "When 28-year-old Theo Epstein was named the general manager of the Red Sox in November 2002, the mission statement was slightly but irrefutably different than what it is for 36-year-old Chaim Bloom, who was named the Red Sox’ chief baseball officer Monday.," 30 Oct. 2019 So maybe the secret to really exorcising Maxwell's demon is to change the parameters to begin with. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Have We Finally Exorcised Maxwell's Demon?," 3 Mar. 2020 Wearing what was surely a faux fur coat and a top hat, Dallas’ queen exorcised her demons during the first half of the set. Jeremy Hallock, Dallas News, "Erykah Badu got angry at her birthday concert. It made her sound even better," 23 Feb. 2020 When wood reaches its flashpoint, the heat exorcises impurities like water vapor, sulfur compounds, and nitrogen compounds, leaving essentially pure carbon behind—charcoal. Vince Guerrieri, Popular Mechanics, "Why Fire Is the Greatest Tool of All Time," 17 Feb. 2020 The House chaplain exorcised the chamber the next day. Jon Brown, Washington Examiner, "'Classless outburst': Congressman of ISIS victim to introduce resolution condemning Pelosi for tearing up State of the Union," 5 Feb. 2020 The football mistakes that haunted DaeSean Hamilton were finally exorcised Sunday at Mile High. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "DaeSean Hamilton relishes career day in Broncos win: “The guy is super-duper intelligent”," 22 Dec. 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.

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

Time Traveler for exorcise

Time Traveler

The first known use of exorcise was in 1539

See more words from the same year

Statistics for exorcise

Last Updated

2 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Exorcise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exorcise. Accessed 25 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for exorcise


How to pronounce exorcise (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of exorcise

: to force (an evil spirit) to leave

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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