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[ek-sawr-sahyz, -ser-] /ˈɛk sɔrˌsaɪz, -sər-/
verb (used with object), exorcised, exorcising.
to seek to expel (an evil spirit) by adjuration or religious or solemn ceremonies:
to exorcise a demon.
to free (a person, place, etc.) of evil spirits or malignant influences.
Origin of exorcise
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin exorcizāre < Greek exorkízein, equivalent to ex- ex-3 + (h)orkízein to cause (someone) to swear an oath
Related forms
exorcisement, noun
exorciser, noun
unexorcised, adjective
Can be confused
exercise, exorcise (see synonym study at exercise) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for exorcised
  • He had been possessed by the evil spirit eight years, and been often exorcised without success.
  • Possibly even the cane so cut will die and the land will not produce until exorcised, plowed over, and replanted.
  • He really does seem to have completed his musical mission, and perhaps exorcised some ghosts along the way.
  • Live performances will find a crowd of exorcised souls drenched in sweat, dancing up a frenzy.
  • Families sent these victims to be exorcised of evil spirits or cured of their physical or mental illness.
  • Families sent these victims to be exorcised of evil spirits.
Word Origin and History for exorcised



c.1400, "to invoke spirits," from Old French exorciser (14c.), from Late Latin exorcizare, from Greek exorkizein "banish an evil spirit; bind by oath" (see exorcism).

Sense of "calling up evil spirits to drive them out" became dominant 16c. A rare case where -ise trumps -ize on both sides of the Atlantic, perhaps by influence of exercise. Related: Exorcised; exorcising.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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