lacerate

1 of 2

verb

lac·​er·​ate ˈla-sə-ˌrāt How to pronounce lacerate (audio)
lacerated; lacerating

transitive verb

1
: to tear or rend roughly : wound jaggedly
2
: to cause sharp mental or emotional pain to : distress
lacerative adjective

lacerate

2 of 2

adjective

lac·​er·​ate ˈla-sə-rət How to pronounce lacerate (audio)
-ˌrāt
variants or lacerated
1
a
: torn jaggedly : mangled
b
: extremely harrowed or distracted
2
: having the edges deeply and irregularly cut
a lacerate petal

Example Sentences

Verb The broken glass lacerated his feet. The patient's hand was severely lacerated.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The movie is laced with fragments of memory — unresolved guilt trips, really, still sharp enough to lacerate the fingertips when handled — which begin when Leda notices Nina. Peter Debruge, Variety, 3 Sep. 2021 The next month, its City Council narrowly rejected a proposal to lacerate the police budget. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, 1 Nov. 2020 Many view the fervor to transform the police as a logical extension of Black Lives Matter, and activists are ramping up pressure to lacerate police budgets further, or disband departments altogether. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, 1 July 2020 Rolley suffered a concussion, ruptured blood vessel in his eye, lacerated scalp, and trauma to the head, back, arm, elbow and leg, according to the lawsuit. Ashley Remkus | Aremkus@al.com, al, 29 Apr. 2020 Monday night’s showcase got its auspicious start with Capaldi, a Scottish troubadour in the mode of Ed Sheeran, only with a firmer voice and more self-lacerating stage banter. Chris Richards, Washington Post, 17 Dec. 2019 The bickering siblings alternate between genuine concern for their failing parents and monstrous selfishness — loving, lacerating interactions with the ring of truth. Los Angeles Times, 27 Sep. 2019 As slender and sharp as a paring knife in his dark navy clothing, Mr. Hiddleston’s lacerating Robert seems to live in a state of existential mourning. Ben Brantley, New York Times, 5 Sep. 2019 Within minutes, Gorsuch lay dead on the ground, his body riddled with bullets and lacerated by corn knives. James Delle, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Jan. 2020
Adjective
Reared in New York's indelicate political culture, Trump does not like to appear meek, using rallies and his Twitter account to lacerate rivals. Paul Schwartzman And Josh Dawsey, chicagotribune.com, 9 July 2018 Reared in New York’s indelicate political culture, Trump does not like to appear meek, using rallies and his Twitter account to lacerate rivals. Paul Schwartzman, Washington Post, 9 July 2018 Reared in New York's indelicate political culture, Trump does not like to appear meek, using rallies and his Twitter account to lacerate rivals. Author: Paul Schwartzman, Josh Dawsey, Anchorage Daily News, 9 July 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lacerate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English, from Latin laceratus, past participle of lacerare to tear; akin to Greek lakis tear

First Known Use

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1514, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of lacerate was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near lacerate

Cite this Entry

“Lacerate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lacerate. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

lacerate

verb

lac·​er·​ate
ˈlas-ə-ˌrāt
lacerated; lacerating
: to tear roughly : injure by tearing
a lacerated knee

Medical Definition

lacerate

transitive verb

lac·​er·​ate ˈlas-ə-ˌrāt How to pronounce lacerate (audio)
lacerated; lacerating
: to tear or rend roughly : wound jaggedly
a lacerated spleen
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