Meaning of desquamate in English:


Pronunciation /ˈdɛskwəmeɪt/

See synonyms for desquamate on


[no object]
  • (of a layer of cells, e.g. of the skin) come off in scales or flakes.

    ‘the pustules eventually dry and the skin desquamates’
    • ‘desquamated cells’
    • ‘Dermoids are composed of mature epithelial tissues, a combination of skin, hair, desquamated epithelium, and teeth.’
    • ‘Small numbers of epithelial giant cells were found admixed with acute inflammatory cells in the lamina propria and even among desquamated cells within the lumen of the appendix.’
    • ‘The combination of sebum and desquamated cells provides an environment that is ripe for the growth of Propionibacterium acnes, the principal organism in inflammatory acne lesions.’
    • ‘Transmission can occur by direct contact or from exposure to desquamated cells.’
    • ‘TrkA immunofluorescence was detected both in desquamated epithelial cells and inflammatory cells recovered from RSV-infected airways.’
    peel off, peel, chip, scale off, blister, come off, come off in layers


Early 18th century (in the sense ‘remove the scales from’): from Latin desquamat- ‘scaled’, from the verb desquamare, from de- ‘away from’ + squama ‘a scale’.