Definition of exorcise in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɛksɔːsʌɪz/
(also exorcize)


[with object]
1Drive out or attempt to drive out (a supposed evil spirit) from a person or place: an attempt to exorcise an unquiet spirit
More example sentences
  • Some scholars believe that the Chinese Lunar New Year originated from a ritual ceremony originally intended to exorcize the evil spirits.
  • Ivan then began performing miracles - he exorcised evil spirits, and healed illnesses and infirmities, at least according to historical sources left from that time.
  • He should repent and exorcise the institutional bias of his department.
1.1Rid (a person or place) of a supposed evil spirit: infants were exorcised prior to baptism
More example sentences
  • The monk and nuns accused of killing her said they had been exorcising her of evil spirits.
  • If somebody was brought to me who needed to be exorcised, provided that the person was willing, I would do all I could to help.
  • The other religious people heard of the demon in the church and warned him to exorcize me from the place.
1.2Completely remove (something unpleasant) from one’s mind or memory: she wanted to exorcise some of the pain
More example sentences
  • His win in California this year exorcised the memory of a famous flop in the same event two years ago.
  • Some warmth was gleaned from a midweek cup win over Kaiserslautern on penalties, but that alone will not exorcise the memory of last weekend's 5-1 cuffing by Schalke.
  • This afternoon, in an altogether less meaningful league fixture between the sides, Lennon returns to the Gorgie ground determined to exorcise the memory of that demoralising day.


Late Middle English: from French exorciser or ecclesiastical Latin exorcizare, from Greek exorkizein, from ex- 'out' + horkos 'oath'. The word originally meant 'conjure up an evil spirit'; the current sense dates from the mid 16th century.

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