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

Once thought to have been eradicated in the early 2000’s, measles has suddenly begun to proliferate throughout the country. John Spina, The Denver Post, "National measles outbreak a concern for Boulder County children returning to school," 13 Aug. 2019 Garrett asked Narula about President Trump's recent prediction that HIV/AIDS would be eradicated within a decade. Grace Segers, CBS News, "A conversation about the world's major health threats," 2 Aug. 2019 Vaccines appeared in the 1950s, and the disease was essentially eradicated by the end of the millennium. Alexander B. Joy, The Atlantic, "Candy Land Was Invented for Polio Wards," 28 July 2019 Kramer was the prototype of the hipster doofus, an urban species about as likely to be eradicated as the cockroach. Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY, "'Seinfeld': 30 ways the 'show about nothing' is still something 30 years later," 3 July 2019 Customs and Border Protection agents in Georgia seized two Giant African Snails, a species that was once eradicated in the U.S., from the luggage of someone traveling back from Nigeria. Fox News, "Giant African Snails, once eradicated from US, confiscated from suitcase at Georgia airport," 29 June 2019 Medical authorities declared the disease to be eradicated in 2000, but unvaccinated travelers and increased concern about the vaccine’s safety have caused an increase in cases, according to the CDC. Alejandro Lazo, WSJ, "Bill to Limit Vaccine Exemptions in California Draws Protests," 20 June 2019 Seven states are currently experiencing an outbreak of measles, a disease that was officially eradicated in the United States in 2000. NBC News, "Email marketer Mailchimp bans anti-vaccination content," 13 June 2019 With the help of zoos and conservation zones in Africa and Europe, wildlife that was previously eradicated is now being reintroduced. Benedict Moran, National Geographic, "Rwanda's war nearly destroyed this park. Now it's coming back.," 7 May 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near eradicate

ERA

eradiate

eradicant

eradicate

eradicative

Eragrostis

eranthemum

Statistics for eradicate

Last Updated

18 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for eradicate

The first known use of eradicate was in 1532

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More Definitions for eradicate

eradicate

verb

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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