de·​rac·​i·​nate | \ (ˌ)dē-ˈra-sə-ˌnāt How to pronounce deracinate (audio) \
deracinated; deracinating

Definition of deracinate

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

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Other Words from deracinate

deracination \ (ˌ)dē-​ˌra-​sə-​ˈnā-​shən How to pronounce deracination (audio) \ noun

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.

Examples of deracinate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Vines were deracinated by panicked merlot viticulturists. Rex Pickett, Town & Country, "How Merlot Can You Go?," 16 Dec. 2012

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

First Known Use of deracinate

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for deracinate

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

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The first known use of deracinate was in 1599

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Cite this Entry

“Deracinate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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