de·​lete | \ di-ˈlēt How to pronounce delete (audio) , 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.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from delete

deletable \ di-​ˈlē-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce deletable (audio) , 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 The sheriff’s department initially tried to keep the incident quiet by telling the deputies to delete the photos, the Times reported. Fox News, "Kobe Bryant's widow files claim against LA County Sheriff's Department over crash-scene photos," 9 May 2020 The tweet appears to have been deleted from Twitter. Emilie Munson,, "Exclusive: Joe Biden accuser Amy Lappos says, ‘I don’t want to be weaponized’," 9 May 2020 Villanueva ordered the deputies to quietly delete the photos, a move that some inside the department as well as legal experts said could amount to destruction of evidence. Los Angeles Times, "Vanessa Bryant files claim against L.A. County sheriff over Kobe Bryant crash site photos," 8 May 2020 Google agreed in the settlement to delete all collected data and educate people on how to set up encrypted wireless networks. Malathi Nayak,, "Google’s ‘Wi-Spy’ Accord Gives Consumers Nothing, States Say," 5 May 2020 How to delete books from your Kindle The first step to organizing a big library is to trim it down. Michael Ansaldo, PCWorld, "How to organize your Kindle library," 20 Apr. 2020 Officers advised her to delete the message thread and to block the number after trying unsuccessfully to contact that person. cleveland, "Resident learns not everyone likes being part of group texts: Highland Heights Police Blotter," 10 Apr. 2020 Aside from the very occasional snafu (like having to delete a post) Watkins' work was fun, funny, personable, and meaningful—a good representation of the work the Sussexes were trying to do. Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "Prince William and Kate Middleton Hire Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Former Social Media Manager," 8 Apr. 2020 A few minutes later, Munoz sent a threatening voice message and told her to delete her account, police said. Tom Steele, Dallas News, "3 men charged with killing 16-year-old in Dallas park in apparent gang retaliation," 7 Apr. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about delete

Time Traveler for delete

Time Traveler

The first known use of delete was circa 1605

See more words from the same year

Statistics for delete

Last Updated

13 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Delete.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for delete


How to pronounce delete (audio)

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 How to pronounce delete (audio) \
deleted; deleting

Kids Definition of delete

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on delete

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for delete

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with delete

Spanish Central: Translation of delete

Nglish: Translation of delete for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of delete for Arabic Speakers

Comments on delete

What made you want to look up delete? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!