Definition of exorcise in US English:

exorcise

(also exorcize)

verb

[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’
    • ‘And they are having trouble and have had trouble for years, decades, trying to exorcise him from their lives.’
    • ‘I eventually gave up and called a priest to come over and exorcise the demonic spirits.’
    • ‘The ‘devil dancing’ of the southern coastal lowlands developed from folk ceremonies to exorcise demons.’
    • ‘As the eldest and smartest student, she bravely stayed in the haunted room in the dormitory and successfully exorcised the evil spirit.’
    • ‘He should repent and exorcise the institutional bias of his department.’
    • ‘One should recall that Marx's writings are contemporaneous with the rise of spiritualism and that they can be viewed as historical materialist attempts to exorcise this craze.’
    • ‘Ivan then began performing miracles - he exorcised evil spirits, and healed illnesses and infirmities, at least according to historical sources left from that time.’
    • ‘Steinbeck's appreciation of him is partly an obituary, partly an attempt to exorcise his ghost.’
    • ‘Shamans or Buddhist monks can be called on to exorcise such ill-intentioned spirits.’
    • ‘Now Rosa has written an autobiographical novel in an attempt to exorcise her trauma.’
    • ‘The tone veers from serious to comic horror at this point and encompasses several botched (and occasionally very funny) attempts to exorcise the ghost.’
    • ‘His troubled spirit was said to have haunted a certain home, and the bottle apparently was an attempt by a priest to exorcise the spirit.’
    • ‘As we have just noted, others, including the disciples of Jesus, shared his ability to exorcize evil spirits.’
    • ‘Attempts are made in vain to exorcise his spirit, but when the robe of a saint is placed on his shoulders, he achieves spiritual release.’
    • ‘The sound generated by the bamboo could both arouse gods to be appeased or exorcise evil spirits.’
    • ‘Some scholars believe that the Chinese Lunar New Year originated from a ritual ceremony originally intended to exorcize the evil spirits.’
    • ‘This distinction should not simply be pushed aside without an attempt to diagnose and exorcize some of the lingering cultural stereotypes within it.’
    • ‘Residents would even pray to some of the edifices to exorcise evil spirits and bring good weather for crops.’
    • ‘Luckily there were plenty of other sideshows around the convention halls to cheer spirits and exorcise such defeatist sentiments.’
    • ‘Then he exorcises the evil spirit haunting them and becomes chief.’
    1. 1.1 Rid (a person or place) of an evil spirit.
      ‘infants were exorcised prior to baptism’
      • ‘Now the feng shui doctor has been called in to exorcise the room.’
      • ‘In a traumatic ritual, she was exorcised in a local church at the age of 17.’
      • ‘Then, the priest exorcises the child by breathing on the child's forehead, mouth, and breast.’
      • ‘As we join them, they're marking another German village as they construct an elaborate show to convince the locals they've exorcised a witch that didn't exist in the first place.’
      • ‘An attempt to exorcise the house by a Catholic priest ended with him fleeing in fear and prompted the strange occurrences to intensify.’
      • ‘The other religious people heard of the demon in the church and warned him to exorcize me from the place.’
      • ‘But there's a major difference between believing in demonic possession and using torture and beatings to exorcize children.’
      • ‘When the pope turned his attention to the young woman, he prayed over her, exorcised her, and stayed with her for half an hour.’
      • ‘Instead of letting us exorcise him, she makes him help out with the housework.’
      • ‘The newspapers have run stories about a girl who was almost trampled to death under the feet of a church congregation as they tried to exorcise her.’
      • ‘Or, if I was very unlucky and lived in a remote Scottish hamlet, a lay preacher would have been brought around to my house to exorcise me.’
      • ‘They use certain Quranic verses to exorcize someone.’
      • ‘If you do she'll exorcize you herself from within.’
      • ‘It is not people or places which are exorcised, but rather the demonic forces of evil in those persons or places.’
      • ‘Please don't let Chris try to exorcise me again.’
      • ‘The monk and nuns accused of killing her said they had been exorcising her of evil spirits.’
      • ‘In particular, says the Report, it was thought necessary in the Early Church to exorcise the sites of churches to be consecrated or reconsecrated.’
      • ‘It probably means half the pubs in Glasgow won't allow me to drink in them anymore, but it was worth it to say I was exorcised in the Vatican.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Nobody tried to exorcise me when I was at that church.’
      drive out, cast out, expel
      rid, deliver, free, purify, cleanse, purge
      View synonyms

Origin

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.

Pronunciation

exorcise

/ˈeksôrˌsīz//ˈɛksɔrˌsaɪz/