Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To rip, cut, or tear.
  • transitive verb To cause deep emotional pain to; distress.
  • adjective Torn; mangled.
  • adjective Wounded.
  • adjective Having jagged, deeply cut edges.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To tear roughly; mangle in rending or violently tearing apart: as, to lacerate the flesh; a lacerated wound.
  • Figuratively, to torture; harrow: as, to lacerate one's feelings.
  • Rent; torn: specifically applied (from natural appearance) in botany (also lacerated) to a leaf having the edge variously cut into irregular segments, and in anatomy to three foramina at the base of the cranium. See below.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To tear; to rend; to separate by tearing; to mangle.
  • adjective Rent; torn; mangled.
  • adjective (Bot. & Zoöl.) Jagged, or slashed irregularly, at the end, or along the edge.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To tear, rip or wound.
  • verb To thoroughly defeat; to thrash
  • adjective botany Jagged, as if torn or lacerated.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective having edges that are jagged from injury
  • verb cut or tear irregularly
  • adjective irregularly slashed and jagged as if torn
  • verb deeply hurt the feelings of; distress

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English laceraten, from Latin lacerāre, lacerāt-, from lacer, torn.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English laceraten, from Latin lacerātus, past participle of lacerō.

Examples

  • The star of I Love You Phillip Morris, The Truman Show, Man on the Moon and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind teams up with the primed-for-prime-time players to lacerate today's headline-splashing people and events.

    Tonight's TV Hot List: Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011

  • Too many people are literal e.g. they removed my 2 inch swiss with nail scissors but I was given a 5 inch steel knife [not plastic which can still lacerate skin] to cut my bread, oh! well! you ‘figger’, follow blindly orders.

    Living In A Police State – (Thank Goodness). « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • In the final minutes of her first Supreme Court term, Justice Elena Kagan delivered a full-blast dissent, using pointed, colloquial, sometimes sarcastic language rarely seen from the court's liberal minority to lacerate the conservative majority in a campaign-finance case.

    Kagan Gives New Life to Court's Liberal Wing

  • They try to perforate the uterus, to get the foetus out, but often lacerate the cervix along the way, so many bleed heavily or leave tissue in the womb which becomes infected.

    Unsafe abortion in Zambia

  • In the final minutes of her first Supreme Court term, Justice Elena Kagan delivered a full-blast dissent, using pointed, colloquial, sometimes sarcastic language rarely seen from the court's liberal minority to lacerate the conservative majority in a campaign-finance case.

    Kagan Gives New Life to Court's Liberal Wing

  • In medieval prisons, inmates were punished with a device called a "cat-o'-nine-tails" -- a whip made of nine knotted thongs of cord designed to lacerate the skin and cause intense pain.

    How Does Ringling Bros. Make Elephants Do That?

  • The quick session produced no jams, no misdirected shots, and best of all, no springs flying through the air looking for a face to lacerate.

    Paradise General

  • The quick session produced no jams, no misdirected shots, and best of all, no springs flying through the air looking for a face to lacerate.

    Paradise General

  • In medieval prisons, inmates were punished with a device called a "cat-o'-nine-tails" -- a whip made of nine knotted thongs of cord designed to lacerate the skin and cause intense pain.

    Ingrid Newkirk: How Does Ringling Bros. Make Elephants Do That?

  • When the social stakes were higher, her words could lacerate.

    Geisha Doll

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