Word of the Day

Monday, August 11, 2003


\ek-SKOR-ee-ayt\ , transitive verb;
To express strong disapproval of; to denounce.
To tear or wear off the skin of.
In his speech to Congress of May 16th -- a speech that France found very insulting -- the President's "rage almost choked his utterance," as he excoriated the French for rejecting his ambassador, urged defensive measures against French dangers from abroad, and warned about French dangers at home.
-- Richard N. Rosenfeld, American Aurora
He constantly excoriated himself for not living up to his own ideals -- for not working hard enough, loving well enough, or having motives that were pure enough.
-- Stephen O'Connor, Orphan Trains
For many months, he had excoriated historians who had "bullied their way into power positions in academia" in order to indoctrinate students with the message that "our country is inherently evil."
-- Gary B. Nash, History on Trial
Excoriate comes from Late Latin excoriatus, past participle of excoriare, "to take the skin or hide off, to flay (literally or figuratively)," from Latin ex-, "off" + corium, "skin, hide."
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