Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.
tr.v. ex·or·cised, ex·or·cis·ing, ex·or·cis·es
a. To expel (an evil spirit), as by incantation, command, or prayer.
b. To eliminate or suppress (a malign influence or negative feeling, for example): "the man most Americans now loved to like as they exorcised the defeatist spirit of the 1960s" (Gil Troy).
2. To free from or rid of an evil spirit, malign influence, or other harmful factor: "Kaiser Wilhelm II's puritanical wife ... sent her personal chaplain to exorcise the palace rooms Leopold had been staying in" (Adam Hochschild).
[Middle English exorcisen, from Late Latin exorcizāre, from Greek exorkizein : ex-, out of; see exo- + horkizein, to make one swear (from horkos, oath).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.