drastic

adjective
dras·tic | \ˈdra-stik \

Definition of drastic 

1 : acting rapidly or violently a drastic purgative

2 : extreme in effect or action : severe drastic measures made drastic changes

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from drastic

drastically \ˈdra-sti-k(ə-)lē \ adverb

Examples of drastic in a Sentence

The situation calls for drastic measures. Maybe we should try something less drastic first.

Recent Examples on the Web

The pressure on Kelly was easing, lessening the urgency for drastic action. Nick Miroff, Anchorage Daily News, "Obama's Cabinet shelved deterrent, but Trump's was willing to try it," 20 June 2018 The pressure on Kelly was easing, lessening the urgency for drastic action. Nick Miroff, Washington Post, "Trump didn’t invent family separation, but his administration was willing to try it," 19 June 2018 No other administration, in fact, has chosen to take such drastic action. Dahleen Glanton, chicagotribune.com, "Trump and Sessions are cut from the same bigoted cloth," 18 June 2018 Around the country, some local governments are taking drastic actions against home-share operators. David Lyons, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Home-sharing option is a growing cash cow for multi-unit developers, owners," 15 June 2018 Sedan sales are down for most automakers, and Ford has even taken the drastic step of abandoning it altogether in the very near future. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The 2018 Honda Accord proves there’s still life in the family sedan," 15 June 2018 The premium increases forced others in the Charlottesville Facebook group to take drastic action. NBC News, "Democrats' October 'surprise' in the midterms? Hint: It has to do with health care costs," 10 June 2018 The annoying flickering has been well-documented on Microsoft’s support forums, with some users taking drastic steps like putting their Surface Pro 4 in a freezer to temporarily fix the issue. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Microsoft to replace Surface Pro 4 tablets affected by screen flickering," 11 May 2018 Some drastic action was kind of needed to wake people up to what was going on. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "Fifty years later, Catonsville Nine draft protest inspires activists, angers opponents," 9 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'drastic.' 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 drastic

circa 1691, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for drastic

Greek drastikos, from dran to do

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about drastic

Dictionary Entries near drastic

drapping

draps

drash

drastic

drastically

drat

dratchell

Statistics for drastic

Last Updated

3 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for drastic

The first known use of drastic was circa 1691

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for drastic

drastic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of drastic

: extreme in effect or action : severe or serious

drastic

adjective
dras·tic | \ˈdra-stik \

Kids Definition of drastic

: severe in effect : harsh a drastic change

Other Words from drastic

drastically \-sti-kə-lē \ adverb

drastic

adjective
dras·tic | \ˈdras-tik \

Medical Definition of drastic 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: acting rapidly or violently used chiefly of purgatives

Other Words from drastic

drastically \-ti-k(ə-)lē \ adverb

drastic

noun

Medical Definition of drastic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a powerful medicinal agent especially : a strong purgative

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on drastic

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

WORD OF THE DAY

required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
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!