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.

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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

His lawyers have said evidence that could exonerate Spacey was deleted from the phone. Dakin Andone, CNN, "The man who accuses Kevin Spacey of groping him dropped his civil lawsuit against the actor," 5 July 2019 Thus, thousands of Steam users seem to be deleting low-cost games from their wishlists in a futile quest to maximize the potential value of their potential Grand Prix prize. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Indie developers suggest Steam Summer Sale confusion is hurting their games [Updated]," 27 June 2019 After his death, his books and papers were removed from libraries and he was deleted—with great thoroughness—from the historical record. Robert Chandler, The New Yorker, "How the Soviet Literary Establishment Censored Vasily Grossman," 19 June 2019 In the same breath, however, the Outdoor Recreation Center of Wendell has deleted the pool rules from its Facebook page and has claimed that some of the language used is merely a mistake. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "North Carolina Pool Owner Under Fire For 'Racist' Rules Banning Baggy Pants, Dreadlocks, And Hair Extensions," 19 June 2019 There were a total of 804 such accounts; 46 were private and could not be accessed, one was a Holmes parody account (since deleted), and one person had two accounts. Liz Webber, Quartz at Work, "How the former employees of Theranos explain themselves on LinkedIn," 10 June 2019 Apparently there were shots of the pair making out, but those got deleted from Twitter. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Who Wins the Bachelorette and Hannah Brown's Heart? Here's Everything We Know," 8 Apr. 2019 Editor's note posted Jan. 17, 2019 One of the paragraphs of this story was inadvertently deleted from the original version. The Christian Science Monitor, "Corrections," 4 Mar. 2019 People across the globe also took to Dolce & Gabbana's Instagram and to Twitter to call out the videos—which, though deleted from the brand's accounts, were reposted by @diet_prada and others. Ana Colón, Glamour, "Everything You Need to Know About Dolce & Gabbana's Canceled Shanghai Fashion Show," 26 Nov. 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

9 Jul 2019

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 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

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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

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


an act or instance of editing or removing

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