- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for excrete
Ebola causes the body to excrete fluids that are teeming with the virus.New York Nurses Are the Calm in Ebola’s Storm
October 21, 2014
Hormonal excesses in the blood require a clean and healthy liver to metabolize and excrete.Can Food Make You Infertile? Foods to Eat and Avoid
December 9, 2011
The lungs also excrete a large proportion of waste matter from the system.Popular Education
Certain Coccideae also excrete honey-dew, especially in the tropics.Disease in Plants
H. Marshall Ward
This water had been obtained from a well into which the excrete from a typhus patient had percolated from a privy.
Worms, amphibia, fishes, and snails form another group which excrete much less carbonic acid.
Careful watching showed that the plant-lice after this interval did not excrete the sweet fluid.A Book of Natural History
- 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
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
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
- 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.