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

Other Words from eradicate

eradicable \ i-​ˈra-​di-​kə-​bəl How to pronounce eradicate (audio) \ adjective
eradication \ i-​ˌra-​də-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce eradicate (audio) \ noun
eradicator \ i-​ˈra-​di-​ˌkā-​tər How to pronounce eradicate (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 means, 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 That work includes a vaccination campaign to help eradicate poliovirus in Africa, as well as efforts to combat climate change and improve global access to energy. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 9 Sep. 2022 This has to be a regional and international effort to contain and eradicate terrorism. Peter Bergen, CNN, 30 Aug. 2022 When uptake is high enough, vaccines help eradicate diseases. Annie Berman, Anchorage Daily News, 26 Aug. 2022 The coalition reunites organisation with different expertise aiming to eradicate industrial animal agriculture, as 50by40, which focus on the just livestock transition. Daniela De Lorenzo, Forbes, 17 Aug. 2022 The vast majority of the amphibian costs the group studied were spent on efforts to eradicate or manage the American bullfrog in European countries. Dinah Voyles Pulver, USA TODAY, 30 July 2022 Municipal efforts to eradicate them from the capital, New Delhi, must walk a fine line to avoid triggering a public outcry. Mike Ives, BostonGlobe.com, 27 July 2022 The proposal to establish a common name came from Dr. Chris Looney, who has been actively involved in the state's hornet research and efforts to eradicate northern giant hornet from Washington, officials said. CBS News, 26 July 2022 In 2019, the hornet now known as the northern giant hornet was found in Washington State, and there have been efforts to eradicate the species entirely since then. Rachel Fadem, CNN, 26 July 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About eradicate

Time Traveler for eradicate

Time Traveler

The first known use of eradicate was in 1532

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About eradicate

Dictionary Entries Near eradicate

eradicant

eradicate

eradicative

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for eradicate

Last Updated

29 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Eradicate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eradicate. Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for eradicate

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on eradicate

Nglish: Translation of eradicate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of eradicate for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!