Pronunciation key

( eksôr-sīz′ )



[ME. exorcisen < OFr. exorciser; LL. exorcizare; New Testament Gr. exorkizein, to drive away an evil spirit by adjuration, (earlier) to swear a person, administer an oath < Fr. ex-, out + horkizein to make one swear < horkos, an oath; cf. CONJURE].

  1. To free one of an evil spirit or malignant influences. To cast out or expel an evil spirit by adjuration, ritualistic prayers, incantation, solemn ceremonies or charms.
  2. To command or summon such spirits.
  3. To pronounce exorcisms over and free one from such spirits. Also spelled exorcize.
  4. [Obs.] To summon or conjure up a spirit such as a demon.

ex′or•cise′ment (n.) —ex′or•cis′er (n.)


  • The American College Dictionary (Random House) ©1949
  • Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language (College Edition) ©1955
  • Webster's Improved Dictionary and Everyday Encyclopedia ©1956
  • Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary, Comprehensive International Edition ©1976
  • The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition ©1985
  • Further Reading

  • Exorcism
  • Exorcist
  • Exorcize
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