Pronunciation: (eks-fō'lē-āt"), [key]
—v., -at•ed, -at•ing.
1. to throw off in scales, splinters, etc.
2. to remove the surface of (a bone, the skin, etc.) in scales or laminae.
1. to throw off scales or flakes; peel off in thin fragments: The bark of some trees exfoliates.
a. to split or swell into a scaly aggregate, as certain minerals when heated.
b. to separate into rudely concentric layers or sheets, as certain rocks during weathering.
3. Med.to separate and come off in scales, as scaling skin or any structure separating in flakes.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.