• synonyms


[ek-sawr-siz-uh m, -ser-]
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  1. the act or process of exorcising.
  2. the ceremony or the formula used in exorcising: An elaborate exorcism was pronounced over the sick man.
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Origin of exorcism

1350–1400; Middle English exorcisme (< Old French) < Medieval Latin < Greek exorkismós administration of an oath. See exorcise, -ism
Related formsex·or·cis·mal [ek-sawr-siz-muh l, ‐ser] /ˌɛk sɔrˈsɪz məl, ‐sər/, ex·or·ci·so·ry [ek-sawr-sahy-zuh-ree, ‐ser] /ˈɛk sɔrˈsaɪ zə ri, ‐sər/, ex·or·cis·ti·cal, ex·or·cis·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for exorcism

purification, ceremony, expulsion, ritual, ejection

Examples from the Web for exorcism

Contemporary Examples of exorcism

Historical Examples of exorcism

Word Origin and History for exorcism


early 15c., "a calling up or driving out of evil spirits," from Late Latin exorcismus, from Greek exorkismos, from exorkizein "exorcize, bind by oath," from ex "out of" (see ex-) + horkizein "cause to swear," from horkos "oath." Earlier in the same sense was exorcization (late 14c.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper