[ dee-kawr-ti-keyt ]
/ diˈkɔr tɪˌkeɪt /

verb (used with object), de·cor·ti·cat·ed, de·cor·ti·cat·ing.

to remove the bark, husk, or outer covering from.
Surgery. to remove the cortex from (an organ or structure).


Nearby words

  1. decorative art,
  2. decorative arts,
  3. decorator,
  4. decorous,
  5. decorously,
  6. decortication,
  7. decorum,
  8. decoupage,
  9. decouple,
  10. decoupling

Origin of decorticate

1605–15; < Latin dēcorticātus (past participle of dēcorticāre to peel), equivalent to dē- de- + corticātus having bark, shell; see corticate

Related formsde·cor·ti·ca·tor, nounun·de·cor·ti·cat·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for decorticate


/ (diːˈkɔːtɪˌkeɪt) /


(tr) to remove the bark or some other outer layer from
surgery to remove the cortex of (an organ or part)
Derived Formsdecortication, noundecorticator, noun

Word Origin for decorticate

C17: from Latin dēcorticāre, from de- + -corticāre, from cortex bark

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 decorticate



1610s, from Latin decorticatus, past participle of decorticare "to strip of bark," from de- (see de-) + stem of cortex "bark of a tree" (see cortex). Related: Decortication.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper