lacerate (v.)

"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.

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