1530s, "waste discharged from the body," from Latin excrementum, from stem of excretus, past participle of excernere "to sift out, discharge," from ex "out" (see ex-) + cernere "sift, separate" (from PIE root *krei- "to sieve," thus "discriminate, distinguish"). Originally any bodily secretion, especially from the bowels; exclusive sense of "feces" is since mid-18c. Related: Excremental; excrementitious.
updated on May 05, 2017
Dictionary entries near excrement