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.

Definitions of excoriate
  1. verb
    express strong disapproval of
    synonyms: condemn, decry, objurgate, reprobate
    see moresee less
    type of:
    speak out against
  2. verb
    tear or wear off the skin or make sore by abrading
    synonyms: chafe
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week