Part of speech:
(Like “eat,” “try,” and “want,” all transitive verbs do something to an object.
You eat a banana, try a game, and want a new phone.
Likewise, you lacerate something or someone.)
To lacerate something is to tear it roughly and really mess it up.
Abstractly, to lacerate people is to make a deep, painful wound to their feelings.
lacerated, lacerating, laceration(s)
How to use it:
Concretely, talk about shrapnel that lacerated the soldiers, a seat belt that lacerated someone's chest in a car accident, and so on.
The usage we're more interested in is abstract: talk about lacerating someone with your cruel comments, someone having lacerating wit, someone lacerating a politician for his latest bumbling move, someone lacerating the evidence of still-prevalent racism, etc.
Compared to speaking in person to someone, it's easier to hurl lacerating comments from behind the cloak of anonymity on the Internet.
Not everyone appreciates a comedian who relies on lacerating humor, and there's a fine line between funny irreverence and downright meanness.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "lacerate” means when you can explain it without saying “slash” or “mangle."
Think of the first time your heart was broken, and fill in the blank: "_____ lacerated my (heart/spirit/pride/confidence, etc.)."
Example: "Getting turned down by Mike, the most amazingly cute and popular boy in the fifth grade, lacerated my heart."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
Messages that go through an automated translator into several languages and back into English again often end up sounding funny and garbled-- but still somehow meaningful. We’re having fun with that phenomenon this month as we play our game: Guess the moral from Aesop’s Fables after it has been translated into a few foreign languages and back again by a computer program. Some of the morals may be very familiar to you, others not so much. You don’t need to quote Aesop verbatim but rather just understand the message being conveyed. Try it out each day and see the right answer the following day.
Yesterday’s answer: The translation-babble said, “Those who are not fit to warn their neighbors, not the things themselves.” Aesop said, “Someone who cannot manage his own affairs is not qualified to give advice to his neighbors.”
Try this one today: “It is better to slavery than to rule on the safety risk.”
A Point Well Made:
Lewis Carroll: “How many a controversy would be nipped in the bud, if each was anxious to let the other have the last word!”
1. The opposite of LACERATE is
2. The _____ carried their lacerated pride home from the championship game.
Answers are below.
To be a sponsor and send your own message to readers of this list, please contact Liesl at Liesl@HiloTutor.com.
Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
Subscribe to "Make Your Point" for a daily vocabulary boost.