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verb (used without object), des·qua·mat·ed, des·qua·mat·ing. Pathology.
  1. to come off in scales, as the skin in certain diseases; peel off.
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Origin of desquamate

First recorded in 1720–30, desquamate is from the Latin word dēsquāmātus (past participle of dēsquāmāre to remove scales from). See de-, squamate
Related formsdes·qua·ma·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for desquamation


  1. (intr) (esp of the skin in certain diseases) to peel or come off in scales
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Derived Formsdesquamation, noun

Word Origin

C18: from Latin dēsquāmāre to scale off, from de- + squāma a scale
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

desquamation in Medicine


  1. The shedding or peeling of the epidermis in scales.
  2. The shedding of the outer layer of a surface.
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  1. To shed, peel, or come off in scales. Used of skin.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.