deracinate

play
verb de·rac·i·nate \ (ˌ)dē-ˈra-sə-ˌnāt \

Definition of deracinate

deracinated; deracinating
transitive verb
1 :uproot
2 :to remove or separate from a native environment or culture; especially :to remove the racial or ethnic characteristics or influences from

deracination

play \(ˌ)dē-ˌra-sə-ˈnā-shən\ noun

deracinate was our Word of the Day on 02/12/2014. Hear the podcast!

Get to the Root of deracinate

There is a hint about the roots of deracinate in its first definition. Deracinate was borrowed into English in the late 16th century from Middle French and can be traced back to the Latin word radix, meaning "root." Although deracinate began life referring to literal plant roots, it quickly took on a second metaphorical meaning suggesting removal of anyone or anything from native "roots" or culture. Other offspring of radix include eradicate ("to pull up by the roots" or "to do away with as completely as if by pulling up by the roots") and radish (a crisp edible root). Though the second sense of deracinate mentions racial characteristics and influence, the words racial and race derive from razza, an Italian word of uncertain origin.

Origin and Etymology of deracinate

Middle French desraciner, from des- de- + racine root, from Late Latin radicina, from Latin radic-, radix — more at root


Learn More about deracinate


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a ram's-horn trumpet used in Judaism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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