Definition of lacerate in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Tear or make deep cuts in (flesh or skin)

    ‘the point had lacerated his neck’
    • ‘One man's leg was broken, another's thigh was lacerated; luckily, nobody had died.’
    • ‘A few years later a crisis of confidence led him into an almost reclusive lifestyle, where he would paint to get away from the pain and, more disturbingly, lacerate his skin because he believed he wasn't attractive to the opposite sex.’
    • ‘Mickey Joseph slid out of bounds and lacerated his calf muscle.’
    • ‘Pain filled her mind as she felt her skin being lacerated and heard the crack of the whip.’
    • ‘Her bare feet were lacerated as she dug through the wreckage.’
    • ‘I go out to a place like Woomera and I see ten and twelve year old boys who have lacerated their arms.’
    • ‘A badly lacerated knee meant he missed the Third Test but the attrition rate in the Kiwi camp meant that instead of being able to put his feet up, he had to travel to France to play in a one-off Test.’
    • ‘The engine of her Mazda 323 was forced back into the car, trapping her by the feet and lacerating her legs.’
    • ‘His legs were deeply lacerated, but his life was saved when a stranger managed to pluck him from the waters.’
    • ‘So they made us put stones in our shoes and ropes around our waists which lacerated our skin.’
    • ‘A washing machine he was putting into the skip slipped backwards, gashing his forehead and leaving his fingers badly lacerated.’
    • ‘Prevented from surfacing to breathe, the sea mammals drown while their skin is lacerated by the spines of writhing fish.’
    • ‘She suffered serious head injuries and a badly lacerated leg and never regained consciousness.’
    • ‘On a busy night in the Harcourt Hotel in September 1999, a glass stem broke and lacerated her left wrist.’
    • ‘In order to save himself, he tore off all his clothes and jumped into a nearby bush of thorns and nettles, lacerating his whole body.’
    • ‘The next thing he did was to punch me in the mouth, lacerating the inside of my lip.’
    • ‘Men don't lacerate themselves in their attempts to get laughs.’
    • ‘The manacle around my neck tugged on my skin, lacerating my raw flesh.’
    • ‘He had a further accident lacerating his tendons and breaking his left wrist.’
    • ‘According to Iliev, Pazhin, who plays in Ukraine, has a torn ankle tendon, while Zagorich has a lacerated calf muscle.’
    cut, cut open, gash, slash, tear, rip, rend, mangle, mutilate, maim, maul, shred, score, scratch, scrape, graze, incise
    hurt, wound, distress, pain, harrow, torture, torment, crucify, tear to pieces, tear to shreds
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Criticize forcefully or severely.
      ‘her true venom seems reserved for the media itself as she lacerates our obsession with celebrity’
      • ‘I'm sure the libertarians will lacerate me.’
      • ‘Berardinelli lacerates Stone for allegedly not making an attempt to appeal to the masses.’
      • ‘Her transactions and interactions with clients add up to a lacerating portrait of contemporary mores among the wealthy and the legions of us who depend on their largesse.’
      • ‘You will be publicly lacerated by a few managers who will feel obliged to feign indignation that you didn't select his county's full-back/full-forward, whatever.’
      • ‘As expected, however, opposition leaders lacerated the Minister for Finance over the myriad of petty fees, charges and levies he introduced to extract the shortfall from citizens' wallets.’
      • ‘In his keynote address to the Labour Party conference in Killarney, Rabbitte lacerated the government for breaking its election promises and operating behind closed doors.’
      • ‘He would tell me who I was, and his judgment was lacerating, merciless.’
      • ‘Mr Copeland, in his gentlemanlike way, completely lacerated the Government's position.’
      • ‘Some politicians and media commentators have had field days in lacerating an already wounded Catholic Church.’
      • ‘He lacerated the New Journalists even though as a writer for Life during World War II, he used a composite character.’
      • ‘His poem - for all the mellifluousness of its alexandrines - was a lacerating attack upon the proposition that "tout est bien."’
      • ‘Lacerated in the press, he eventually incinerated his drawings.’
      • ‘They lacerated him for saying he wanted the Democratic Party to reach out to working-class Southerners who drive pickups bearing Confederate-flag decals.’
      • ‘He is a television regular, lacerating the aspirations of bumbling, wannabe chefs.’
      • ‘He also lacerated Dr Cowley's record in relation to the recent European elections when he attempted to support two candidates.’
      • ‘Turner pens a column in a weekend paper which, often as not, is given over to lacerating New Right economics and philosophies.’
      • ‘An outspoken government critic, he has written lacerating essays on the Internet, including predictions that the governing party will implode because of corruption and abuse of power.’
      • ‘Three weeks ago, the former Fine Gael minister deliverd a lacerating attack on his former colleagues in this newspaper.’


Late Middle English: from Latin lacerat- ‘mangled’, from the verb lacerare, from lacer ‘mangled, torn’.