To shed the outer layers of the skin. Although it may sound somewhat fishy, the word “desquamate” comes from the Latin “desquamare” meaning “to scrape the scales off a fish.”
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To shred, peel, or scale off, as the casting off of the epidermis in scales or shreds, or the shedding of the outer layer of any surface. [L. desquamo, pp. -atus, to scale off, fr. squama, a scale]

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des·qua·mate 'des-kwə-.māt vi, -mat·ed; -mat·ing to peel off in the form of scales: scale off <desquamated epithelial cells>
des·qua·ma·tion .des-kwə-'mā-shən n

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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  • Desquamate — Des qua*mate, v. i. [L. desquamatus, p. p. of desquamare to scale off; de + squama scale.] (Med.) To peel off in the form of scales; to scale off, as the skin in certain diseases. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • desquamate — [des′kwə māt΄, di skwā′māt΄] vi. desquamated, desquamating [< L desquamatus, pp. of desquamare, to scale off < de , off + squama, a scale, SQUAMA] to fall off in scales; peel off: said esp. of the top layer of skin or mucous membrane… …   English World dictionary

  • desquamate — intransitive verb ( mated; mating) Etymology: Latin desquamatus, past participle of desquamare to scale, from de + squama scale Date: 1828 to peel off in scales • desquamation noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • desquamate — desquamation, n. /des kweuh mayt /, v.i., desquamated, desquamating. Pathol. to come off in scales, as the skin in certain diseases; peel off. [1720 30; < L desquamatus (ptp. of desquamare to remove scales from). See DE , SQUAMATE] * * * …   Universalium

  • desquamate — verb To shed or peel See Also: desquamation …   Wiktionary

  • desquamate — des·qua·mate || deskwÉ™meɪt v. fall off in scales, peel off …   English contemporary dictionary

  • desquamate — [ dɛskwəmeɪt] verb (of a layer of cells) come off in scales or flakes. Derivatives desquamation noun desquamative skwamətɪv adjective Origin C18 (earlier (ME) as desquamation): from L. desquamat , desquamare remove the scales from …   English new terms dictionary

  • desquamate — des·qua·mate …   English syllables

  • desquamate — des•qua•mate [[t]ˈdɛs kwəˌmeɪt[/t]] v. i. mat•ed, mat•ing pat to peel off in scales • Etymology: 1720–30; < L dēsquāmātus, ptp. of dēsquāmāre to remove scales from. See de , squamate des qua•ma′tion, n …   From formal English to slang

  • desquamate — /ˈdɛskwəmeɪt/ (say deskwuhmayt) verb (i) (desquamated, desquamating) Pathology to come off in scales, as the skin in certain diseases; peel off. {Latin dēsquāmātus, past participle, scaled off} –desquamation /dɛskwəˈmeɪʃən/ (say deskwuh mayshuhn) …  

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