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[ik-skreet] /ɪkˈskrit/
verb (used with object), excreted, excreting.
to separate and eliminate from an organic body; separate and expel from the blood or tissues, as waste or harmful matter.
Origin of excrete
1610-20; < Latin excrētus (past participle of excernere to sift out, separate), equivalent to ex- ex-1 + crē- (perfect stem of cernere to sift) + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
excreter, noun
excretive, adjective
unexcreted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for excrete
  • The earthworms excrete a slightly different version of the metals, making them easier for plants to suck up.
  • And you say kidneys excrete bad stuff which is totally true.
  • As the fish respire, their gills excrete ammonia into the water.
  • Even the smallest microbe can figure out how to find food, eat, excrete and multiply.
  • Quorum sensing uses small molecules that bacteria can both excrete and sense.
  • First, the first cell had to form, with a cell wall already smart enough to let wanted items in and to excrete unwanted things.
  • The organisms excrete the fuel, which can then be collected using conventional chemical-separation technologies.
  • The ability to excrete salt at normal levels of blood pressure varies from one individual to another.
  • They also excrete creatine, rather than creatinine like mammals.
British Dictionary definitions for excrete


to discharge (waste matter, such as urine, sweat, carbon dioxide, or faeces) from the body through the kidneys, skin, lungs, bowels, etc
(of plants) to eliminate (waste matter, such as carbon dioxide and salts) through the leaves, roots, etc
Derived Forms
excreter, noun
excretion, noun
excretive, excretory, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin excernere to separate, discharge, from cernere to sift
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for excrete

1610s, from Latin excretus, past participle of excernere (see excrement). Related: Excreted; excreting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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excrete in Medicine

excrete ex·crete (ĭk-skrēt')
v. ex·cret·ed, ex·cret·ing, ex·cretes
To eliminate waste material from the body.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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