Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

exorcise

or ex·or·cize

[ek-sawr-sahyz, -ser-]
verb (used with object), ex·or·cised, ex·or·cis·ing.
  1. to seek to expel (an evil spirit) by adjuration or religious or solemn ceremonies: to exorcise a demon.
  2. to free (a person, place, etc.) of evil spirits or malignant influences.
Show More

Origin of exorcise

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin exorcizāre < Greek exorkízein, equivalent to ex- ex-3 + (h)orkízein to cause (someone) to swear an oath
Related formsex·or·cise·ment, nounex·or·cis·er, nounun·ex·or·cised, adjective
Can be confusedexercise exorcise (see synonym study at exercise)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for exorcize

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "You may exorcize the devils first," the Colonel grimly remarked to the priest, wiping the blood off his sleeves.

    Werwolves

    Elliott O'Donnell

  • This is the fifth time to-day that the procession goes its round, that the reliquary is borne on high, to exorcize the calamity.

    Majesty

    Louis Couperus

  • A fear was upon Setne because of Se-Osiris, who answered not, and then he pronounced words that exorcize the ghosts of the dead.


British Dictionary definitions for exorcize

exorcize

exorcise

verb
  1. (tr) to expel or attempt to expel (one or more evil spirits) from (a person or place believed to be possessed or haunted), by prayers, adjurations, and religious rites
Show More
Derived Formsexorcizer or exorciser, nounexorcism, nounexorcist, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Late Latin exorcizāre, from Greek exorkizein, from ex- 1 + horkizein to adjure
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 exorcize

exorcise

v.

c.1400, "to invoke spirits," from Old French exorciser (14c.), from Late Latin exorcizare, from Greek exorkizein "banish an evil spirit; bind by oath" (see exorcism).

Sense of "calling up evil spirits to drive them out" became dominant 16c. A rare case where -ise trumps -ize on both sides of the Atlantic, perhaps by influence of exercise. Related: Exorcised; exorcising.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper