When it comes to “telling someone off,” excoriate is reserved for the most severe cases. So, before you excoriate your little sister for borrowing your favorite jacket without permission, consider whether she truly deserves such harsh treatment.
If you excoriate someone, you let that person know that you really, really disagree with them. This verb goes beyond mere criticism; it implies anger, a harsh and insulting tone, and even a scathing attack. Synonyms of excoriate include denounce, decry, and condemn. In a medical sense, excoriate means “to tear skin off by chafing.” A bad rug burn can excoriate your skin. If someone excoriates you verbally, it might make you feel like you’ve been physically excoriated.