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According to the Trésor de la Langue Française, borrowed from Vulgar Latin *exquartāre, from classical Latin quartus.[1]

The Vocabolario Etimologico of Pianigiani gives Vulgar Latin *excarptāre, formed with the supine Latin *excarptum of Latin *excarpāre or Latin excerpō (choose, select).[2] At the same time, Pianigiani adds an alternative etymology, though not fully explained, involving a relationship to Irish scar (past participle scartha), itself derived from Old Irish scaraid.

Compare Italian scartare and squartare; Spanish and Portuguese descartar; and English discard.


  • IPA(key): /e.kaʁ.te/
  • (file)



  1. to separate, move apart
  2. to spread, open (fingers, legs etc)
  3. to draw (curtains)
  4. to dismiss, rule out, turn down
  5. to remove a person from a job or position
    Après le scandale financier, le congrès a voté pour écarter le président du pouvoir.
    After the financial scandal, Congress voted to remove the president from power.
  6. (Louisiana) to lose
  7. (reflexive) to withdraw, diverge, deviate
  8. (reflexive, Louisiana) to stray


Derived terms[edit]


  1. ^ écarter”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.
  2. ^ Pianigiani, Ottorino (1907), “scartare”, in Vocabolario etimologico della lingua italiana (in Italian), Rome: Albrighi & Segati

Further reading[edit]