lacerate (v.) Look up lacerate at
"to tear roughly," early 15c., from Latin laceratus, past participle of lacerare "tear to pieces, mangle," figuratively, "to slander, censure, abuse," from lacer "torn, mangled," from PIE root *lek- "to rend, tear" (source also of Greek lakis "tatter, rag," lakizein "to tear to pieces;" Latin lacinia "flap of a garment," lancinare "to pierce, stab;" Russian lochma "rag, tatter, scrap;" Albanian l'akur "naked"). Figurative sense in English is from 1640s. Related: Lacerated; lacerating.