[ verb las-uh-reyt; adjective las-uh-reyt, -er-it ]
See synonyms for: laceratelacerated on

verb (used with object),lac·er·at·ed, lac·er·at·ing.
  1. to tear roughly; mangle: The barbed wire lacerated his hands.

  2. to distress or torture mentally or emotionally; wound deeply; pain greatly: His bitter criticism lacerated my heart.


Origin of lacerate

1535–45; from Latin lacerātus, past participle of lacerāre “to tear up” (derivative of lacer “mangled”); see -ate1

synonym study For lacerate

1. See maim.

Other words for lacerate

Other words from lacerate

  • lac·er·a·ble, adjective
  • lac·er·a·bil·i·ty [las-er-uh-bil-i-tee], /ˌlæs ər əˈbɪl ɪ ti/, noun
  • lac·er·a·tive [las-uh-rey-tiv, -er-uh-tiv], /ˈlæs əˌreɪ tɪv, -ər ə tɪv/, adjective
  • self-lac·er·at·ing, adjective
  • un·lac·er·at·ing, adjective

Words Nearby lacerate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use lacerate in a sentence

  • Zoe trotted away with her head up, carrying the kitten very carefully lest her teeth should lacerate its tender skin.

    Lives of the Fur Folk | M. D. Haviland
  • She was like a wounded animal that longs to strike, to tear with its claws, to lacerate and leave bleeding.

    December Love | Robert Hichens
  • Human souls were never made to do penance, to lacerate and torment themselves in worship or duty.

British Dictionary definitions for lacerate


verb(ˈlæsəˌreɪt) (tr)
  1. to tear (the flesh, etc) jaggedly

  2. to hurt or harrow (the feelings, etc)

adjective(ˈlæsəˌreɪt, -rɪt)
  1. having edges that are jagged or torn; lacerated: lacerate leaves

Origin of lacerate

C16: from Latin lacerāre to tear, from lacer mangled

Derived forms of lacerate

  • lacerable, adjective
  • lacerability, noun
  • laceration, noun
  • lacerative, adjective

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