• synonyms


[eks-foh-lee-ey-shuh n]
See more synonyms for exfoliation on Thesaurus.com
  1. the act, state, or process of exfoliating.
  2. the state of being exfoliated.
  3. something that is exfoliated or scaled off.
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Origin of exfoliation

1670–80; New Latin exfoliātiōn- (stem of exfoliātiō). See exfoliate, -ion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for exfoliation

depilation, shedding, peeling

Examples from the Web for exfoliation

Historical Examples of exfoliation

  • Old enough to know that this exfoliation is entirely natural.

    Way of the Lawless

    Max Brand

  • An exfoliation of the rock itself, you would call the houses that seem to grow there, so identical is the colour and character.

  • But the age has fairly outgrown them, and they are falling away by a natural process of exfoliation.

  • The surface retains much of the original polish, but exfoliation has commenced on one side.

  • The general color of the trunk is orange-brown, the new bark, exposed by exfoliation, is yellow.

    American Forest Trees

    Henry H. Gibson

Word Origin and History for exfoliation


early 15c., noun of action from Latin exfoliare (see exfoliate).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

exfoliation in Medicine


  1. Detachment and shedding of superficial cells of an epithelium or a tissue surface.
  2. Scaling or desquamation of the horny layer of epidermis.
  3. Loss of deciduous teeth following physiological loss of root structure.
  4. Extrusion of permanent teeth as a result of disease or loss of opposing teeth.
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Related formsex•foli•ate′ v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

exfoliation in Science


  1. The process in which layers of tissue peel or are peeled off an organism, such as the distinctive ways in which bark peels off a tree in strips or flakes.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.