dras·​tic | \ ˈdra-stik How to pronounce drastic (audio) \

Definition of drastic

1 : acting rapidly or violently a drastic purgative
2 : extreme in effect or action : severe drastic measures made drastic changes

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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

However, nearly erasing carbs from an eating plan may be too drastic. Amy Capetta, Good Housekeeping, "Paleo Versus Keto: Which Is the Better Diet for You?," 10 Dec. 2018 When the original Echo was still around and priced at $180, the $50 difference between it and the Echo Show wasn't very drastic. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Guidemaster: Want an Alexa device? Here’s every Amazon Echo, compared," 22 Nov. 2018 And greenhouse gas emissions have grown, not fallen, since 2010, so the cut has to be even more drastic now. Umair Irfan, Vox, "4 big takeaways from the UN’s alarming climate change report," 9 Oct. 2018 Anxiety along Lake Superior Despite help from the control board, the consequences of shoreline erosion are drastic along Lake Superior. Tony Briscoe, chicagotribune.com, "What happens when Lake Superior has too much water? It dumps it into an already overflowing Lake Michigan," 13 July 2018 Taking unmet need into consideration, the projections are more drastic. Hannah Holzer, sacbee, "California needs more mental health professionals – and the shortage will get worse, experts say," 11 July 2018 The Times reports that Mars's orbit is much more drastic than earth's, and its distance from the sun does impact the planet's temperature. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "The Earth Is at Its Farthest Point From the Sun, but That Won't Stop the Heat Wave," 6 July 2018 Both are having better seasons than Perez, but after that the drop-off is pretty drastic. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Mellinger Minutes: No M.D. for Chiefs' LDT, finding Royals hope (and an All-Star)," 26 June 2018 But Seinfeld, 64, thinks the network's decision to fire Barr was perhaps too drastic, noting that her long history of offensive behavior was self-sabotage enough. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "Jerry Seinfeld thinks Roseanne Barr's firing from ABC was 'overkill'," 26 June 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.

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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

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Statistics for drastic

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for drastic

The first known use of drastic was circa 1691

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More Definitions for drastic



English Language Learners Definition of drastic

: extreme in effect or action : severe or serious


dras·​tic | \ ˈdra-stik How to pronounce drastic (audio) \

Kids Definition of drastic

: severe in effect : harsh a drastic change

Other Words from drastic

drastically \ -​sti-​kə-​lē \ adverb


dras·​tic | \ ˈdras-tik How to pronounce drastic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce drastically (audio) \ adverb



Medical Definition of drastic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a powerful medicinal agent especially : a strong purgative

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More from Merriam-Webster on drastic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with drastic

Spanish Central: Translation of drastic

Nglish: Translation of drastic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of drastic for Arabic Speakers

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).


a secret plot to overthrow a government

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