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early 15c., from Latin laceratus, past participle of lacerare "tear to pieces, mangle," figuratively, "to slander, censure, abuse," from lacer "torn, mangled," from PIE root *lek- "to rend, tear" (cf. Greek lakis "tatter, rag," lakizein "to tear to pieces;" Russian lochma "rag, tatter, scrap;" Albanian l'akur "naked"). Related: Lacerated; lacerating.
lacerate lac·er·ate (lās'ə-rāt')
v. lac·er·at·ed, lac·er·at·ing, lac·er·ates
To rip, cut, or tear. adj. (-rĭt, -rāt')