eradicate

verb
erad·​i·​cate | \ i-ˈra-də-ˌkāt How to pronounce eradicate (audio) \
eradicated; eradicating

Definition of eradicate

transitive verb

1 : to do away with as completely as if by pulling up by the roots programs to eradicate illiteracy
2 : to pull up by the roots

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Other Words from eradicate

eradicable \ i-​ˈra-​di-​kə-​bəl How to pronounce eradicable (audio) \ adjective
eradication \ i-​ˌra-​də-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce eradication (audio) \ noun
eradicator \ i-​ˈra-​di-​ˌkā-​tər How to pronounce eradicator (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for eradicate

exterminate, extirpate, eradicate, uproot mean to effect the destruction or abolition of something. exterminate implies complete and immediate extinction by killing off all individuals. exterminate cockroaches extirpate implies extinction of a race, family, species, or sometimes an idea or doctrine by destruction or removal of its means of propagation. many species have been extirpated from the area eradicate implies the driving out or elimination of something that has established itself. a campaign to eradicate illiteracy uproot implies a forcible or violent removal and stresses displacement or dislodgment rather than immediate destruction. the war uprooted thousands

The Root of Eradicate Is, Literally, Root

Given that eradicate first meant "to pull up by the roots," it's not surprising that the root of eradicate is, in fact, "root." Eradicate, which first turned up in English in the 16th century, comes from eradicatus, the past participle of the Latin verb eradicare. Eradicare, in turn, can be traced back to the Latin word radix, meaning "root" or "radish." Although eradicate began life as a word for literal uprooting, by the mid-17th century it had developed a metaphorical application to removing things the way one might yank an undesirable weed up by the roots. Other descendants of radix in English include radical and radish. Even the word root itself is related; it comes from the same ancient word that gave Latin radix.

Examples of eradicate in a Sentence

The disease has now been completely eradicated. His ambition is to eradicate poverty in his community.
Recent Examples on the Web Mexican law enforcement agents could be paid off not to eradicate a poppy field, or to allow the safe passage of drugs to the border. Kevin Sieff, Washington Post, "Spanning years during drug wars, U.S. indictments claim cartels had reach into Mexico’s top security ranks," 17 Oct. 2020 Penn State and Cornell have jumping worm fact sheets online, including tactics to flush them out and eradicate them. Ellen Nibali, baltimoresun.com, "Garden Q&A: Pickerelweed and Asian jumping worms," 1 Oct. 2020 Coyotes are here to stay, and no amount of (perfectly legal) hunting will eradicate them. Pamela Miller, Star Tribune, "Why do Minnesota coyotes howl when trains go by?," 11 Sep. 2020 But the topic that stood out this year on Yom Kippur, the day of atoning for one’s sins, was racial injustice and the worldwide protest movement trying to eradicate it that exploded following the death of George Floyd in May. Gabe Friedman, sun-sentinel.com, "This Yom Kippur, rabbis across the country focused their sermons on racial injustice," 30 Sep. 2020 In the process of trying to eradicate the virus, our immune systems can go into overdrive and harm or even kill us. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, "Paging Dr. Hamblin: Please Tell Me I Can’t Get COVID-19 Again," 2 Sep. 2020 Some of the campaigns have recently been re-started, but health workers need to vaccinate more than 90% of children in their efforts to eradicate the paralytic disease. Maria Cheng, Star Tribune, "UN says new polio outbreak in Sudan caused by oral vaccine," 2 Sep. 2020 Some scientists argue that finding commercial uses for the plant does not help to eradicate it. Nell Lewis, CNN, "How weeds are being used to clean up oil spills," 25 Aug. 2020 The push to eradicate wet markets, in China and beyond, is hardly new. Sam Sontag, TheWeek, "Wet markets are essential to Thai cooking. So why are they disappearing?," 20 Sep. 2020

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

1532, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for eradicate

Latin eradicatus, past participle of eradicare, from e- + radic-, radix root — more at root

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Time Traveler for eradicate

Time Traveler

The first known use of eradicate was in 1532

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Last Updated

22 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Eradicate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eradicate. Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for eradicate

eradicate

verb
How to pronounce eradicate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of eradicate

formal : to remove (something) completely : to eliminate or destroy (something harmful)

eradicate

verb
erad·​i·​cate | \ i-ˈra-də-ˌkāt How to pronounce eradicate (audio) \
eradicated; eradicating

Kids Definition of eradicate

: to destroy completely The disease has been eradicated.

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Comments on eradicate

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