v. ex·fo·li·at·ed, ex·fo·li·at·ing, ex·fo·li·ates
1. To remove (a layer of bark or skin, for example) in flakes or scales; peel.
2. To cast off in scales, flakes, or splinters.
To come off or separate into flakes, scales, or layers.
[Latin exfoliāre, exfoliāt-, to strip of leaves : ex-, ex- + folium, leaf; see bhel-3 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.