Definition of exorcise in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈeksôrˌsīz/
(also exorcize)


[with object]
1Drive out or attempt to drive out (an evil spirit) from a person or place: an attempt to exorcise an unquiet spirit figurative inflation has been exorcised
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.
drive out, cast out, expel
1.1Rid (a person or place) of an 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.


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

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.