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[verb eks-kuh-myoo-ni-keyt; noun, adjective eks-kuh-myoo-ni-kit, -keyt]
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verb (used with object), ex·com·mu·ni·cat·ed, ex·com·mu·ni·cat·ing.
  1. to cut off from communion with a church or exclude from the sacraments of a church by ecclesiastical sentence.
  2. to exclude or expel from membership or participation in any group, association, etc.: an advertiser excommunicated from a newspaper.
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  1. an excommunicated person.
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  1. cut off from communion with a church; excommunicated.
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Origin of excommunicate

1375–1425; late Middle English excommunicaten (v.) < Late Latin excommūnicātus literally, put out of the community (past participle of excommūnicāre), equivalent to ex- ex-1 + commūn(is) common, public + -ic- (by analogy with commūnicāre to communicate) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsex·com·mu·ni·ca·tor, nounun·ex·com·mu·ni·cat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for excommunicate

oust, curse, eject, expel, repudiate, proscribe, dismiss, denounce, remove, ban, exclude, anathematize, unchurch

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Contemporary Examples of excommunicate

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British Dictionary definitions for excommunicate


verb (ˌɛkskəˈmjuːnɪˌkeɪt)
  1. (tr) to sentence (a member of the Church) to exclusion from the communion of believers and from the privileges and public prayers of the Church
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adjective (ˌɛkskəˈmjuːnɪkɪt, -ˌkeɪt)
  1. having incurred such a sentence
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noun (ˌɛkskəˈmjuːnɪkɪt, -ˌkeɪt)
  1. an excommunicated person
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Derived Formsexcommunicable, adjectiveexcommunication, nounexcommunicative or excommunicatory, adjectiveexcommunicator, noun

Word Origin for excommunicate

C15: from Late Latin excommūnicāre, literally: to exclude from the community, from Latin commūnis common
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 excommunicate


early 15c., from Late Latin excommunicatus, past participle of excommunicare (see excommunication). Related: Excommunicated; excommunicating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper