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or exorcize

[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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for exorcise
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The demon replied, "It is not customary to exorcise in that tongue."

    The Phantom World Augustin Calmet
  • Some monks of the abbey were requested to come also and exorcise the spirit.

    The Phantom World Augustin Calmet
  • There is nothing like beef and beer to exorcise evil spirits.

    Victor's Triumph Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth
  • They exorcise the Sudhiniyas or the drinkers of human blood.

  • A man riding on the mare entered the Church with a friend, to exorcise the Spirit.

    Welsh Folk-Lore Elias Owen
  • “Let us exorcise your devil with a pottle of hot ale,” he suggested.

    The Lady of Loyalty House Justin Huntly McCarthy
  • As drivers will, she tried to exorcise the creeping fear by singing.

    Free Air Sinclair Lewis
Word Origin and History for exorcise

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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