The verb lacerate means to cut or tear. So the envelope that gave you that nasty paper cut? It lacerated your finger.

Something usually needs to be sharp or jagged to lacerate you, like broken glass or a sharp stick. You won't be getting lacerated anytime soon by lace or cotton balls, that's for sure. But watch out for sharp-tongued people hurling hateful words your way; those snide remarks and personal digs can lacerate feelings like a knife slicing through butter.

Definitions of lacerate

v cut or tear irregularly

Type of:
bust, rupture, snap, tear
separate or cause to separate abruptly

v deeply hurt the feelings of; distress

“his lacerating remarks”
Type of:
bruise, hurt, injure, offend, spite, wound
hurt the feelings of

adj irregularly slashed and jagged as if torn

lacerate leaves”
of the margin of a leaf shape; having the edge cut or fringed or scalloped

adj having edges that are jagged from injury

lacerated, mangled, torn

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.