de·​lete | \di-ˈlēt, dē-\
deleted; deleting

Definition of delete 

transitive verb

: to eliminate especially by blotting out, cutting out, or erasing delete a passage in a manuscript delete a computer file The e-mail was accidentally deleted.

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Other Words from delete

deletable \di-​ˈlē-​tə-​bəl, dē-​ \ adjective
an easily deletable photo

Examples of delete in a Sentence

Delete this name from the list. When the movie was shown on TV all the swearwords had been deleted.

Recent Examples on the Web

A few weeks ago, Mulroney wished the Duchess a late happy birthday with a cute throwback photo, but deleted it shortly after. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Reportedly Doesn't Know Who to Trust In Her Friend Group," 12 Sep. 2018 Scott’s desire for musical perfection — and his lack of enthusiasm for human players — led him to ponder deleting them from his process altogether. Randall Roberts,, "Raymond Scott, the musical genius you probably don't know, is getting his own L.A. festival," 28 June 2018 By Wednesday morning, Cole appeared to have hidden or deleted her Facebook page. Stephen English, star-telegram, "She accused a Texas state trooper of sexual assault. Then her lawyer apologized | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 23 May 2018 Boys and girls passed around a tiny African Fennec Fox like a corsage - though the fox hung rather limply in photos that have since been deleted from a school Instagram account. The Washington Post,, "Florida prep school apologizes for using tiger as prom prop," 14 May 2018 In contrast, the nanobody technique allows scientists to delete and then restore the molecule, probing its role in more detail. Mitch Leslie, Science | AAAS, "Mini-antibodies discovered in sharks and camels could lead to drugs for cancer and other diseases," 10 May 2018 Companies must stop selling the data to third parties if customers ask them to, and also delete personal data altogether on request. Catherine Ho,, "New data privacy law givens Californians new way to sue over breaches," 29 June 2018 An investigation later revealed somebody unknown had deleted more than 200 emails from the co-worker’s account and then forwarded them to a Gmail account. Gabrielle Russon,, "Disney's Reedy Creek loses $94,000 in phishing scheme," 25 June 2018 The new letter asks for more detail directly from the companies, including information about how their customers’ data is stored, used, and deleted upon request. Megan Thielking, STAT, "Lawmakers press genetic testing companies for details on their privacy policies," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'delete.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of delete

circa 1605, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for delete

Latin deletus, past participle of delēre to wipe out, destroy

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Statistics for delete

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for delete

The first known use of delete was circa 1605

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More Definitions for delete



English Language Learners Definition of delete

: to remove (something, such as words, pictures, or computer files) from a document, recording, computer, etc.


de·​lete | \di-ˈlēt \
deleted; deleting

Kids Definition of delete

: to take out especially by erasing, crossing out, or cutting delete a sentence delete a computer file

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More from Merriam-Webster on delete

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with delete

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for delete

Spanish Central: Translation of delete

Nglish: Translation of delete for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of delete for Arabic Speakers

Comments on delete

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