• synonyms


[ig-zoo-vee-ee, ik-soo-]
plural noun
  1. the cast skins, shells, or other coverings of animals.
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Origin of exuviae

1645–55; < Latin, derivative of exuere to remove, strip off, divest oneself of, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + -uere to put on
Related formsex·u·vi·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for exuviae

Historical Examples

  • Our thoughts should soar upward with the butterfly,—not linger with the exuviae that confined him.

    Chippings With A Chisel (From "Twice Told Tales")

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Broken sea shells and other exuviae of marine animals are apparent throughout the whole mass.

  • I also saw the exuviae of a third fast sinking into the sand, and added the skull to my collection.

    Cape Cod

    Henry D. Thoreau

  • There is also some wool, vegetable down, and insect webbing, in which are entangled the exuviae of some caterpillar.

  • During the actual moulting the caterpillar is quite active in freeing itself from the exuviae.

British Dictionary definitions for exuviae


pl n
  1. layers of skin or cuticle shed by animals during ecdysis
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Derived Formsexuvial, adjective

Word Origin

C17: from Latin: something stripped off (the body), from exuere to strip off
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 exuviae


1660s, Latin, literally "that which is stripped off," hence "clothing, equipment, arms, booty, spoils," from stem of exuere, from PIE *eis- "to dress."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper