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 How to pronounce lacerate (audio)
variants or lacerated
1
a
: torn jaggedly : mangled
b
: extremely harrowed or distracted
2
: having the edges deeply and irregularly cut
a lacerate petal

Examples of lacerate in a Sentence

Verb The broken glass lacerated his feet. The patient's hand was severely lacerated.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Vital vessels can be ruptured, causing catastrophic bleeding; the liver can be lacerated; the heart can be perforated. Helen Ouyang, New York Times, 27 Mar. 2024 The bullet lacerated Jenkins’ tongue, broke his jaw and went out through his neck. Emma Tucker, CNN, 17 Mar. 2024 Elegantly directed by Steve H. Broadnax III, Sunset Baby centers on Kenyatta (a heartbreaking Russell Hornsby), a Black revolutionary and formerly incarcerated political prisoner who seeks out his adult daughter, Nina (played with lacerating force by Moses Ingram). Liz Appel, Vogue, 13 Feb. 2024 The gunshot lacerated his tongue and broke his jaw before exiting his neck. Michael Goldberg, Chicago Tribune, 14 Aug. 2023 After winning the 2019 time trial by a record 92 seconds, Dygert crashed at 2020 worlds in Italy, badly lacerating her left leg. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, 8 Jan. 2024 The pair is accused of murdering 2-year-old Karter Ambrose, who was struck with a blunt object sometime between Nov. 15 and 17 in 2020, the indictment alleges, adding that the toddler's liver was lacerated. Adam Sabes, Fox News, 9 Nov. 2023 The footage, which Jake has to look at but can’t bear to see, lacerates his soul, and his raving agony propels him to take matters into his own hands. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 8 Sep. 2023 The 4-year-old girl, 19-year-old pregnant woman, and others lacerated by the razor wire or injured trying to avoid it in the June 30 incidents were transferred to emergency medical services, the trooper wrote. Peter Weber, The Week, 17 July 2023
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, 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

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

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 12 Apr. 2024.

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
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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