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 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 His first instinct was to blame Marie for not having called building maintenance earlier to eradicate it. Ling Ma, The Atlantic, 16 May 2022 Historically, many ranchers have been antithetical to wolf recovery, some of them preferring to eradicate them rather than coexist. Lindsey Botts, The Arizona Republic, 14 Apr. 2022 ACRES acquires, Hill said, and restoration begins with a plan to eradicate them using herbicides or mechanical harvesting. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 30 Mar. 2022 At the time, Diana's support for an international treaty banning landmines—and her public work with groups seeking to eradicate them—was seen as a political stance. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 18 Mar. 2022 Three flops aren’t going to completely eradicate you from Hollywood studios. James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Mar. 2022 Increasingly, governments are trying to reduce harm from drug use rather than to eradicate it. David Luhnow, WSJ, 21 Jan. 2022 Black lawmakers have stated that the new redistricting maps eradicate a total of eight seats located in areas where the majority of the voting population is African American. Ashlee Banks, Essence, 5 Jan. 2022 But the central flaw in U.S. strategy is the belief that military force can eradicate extremist groups or radical ideologies. Robin Wrigh, The New Yorker, 27 Aug. 2021 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.

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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

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The first known use of eradicate was in 1532

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Dictionary Entries Near eradicate

eradicant

eradicate

eradicative

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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Eradicate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eradicate. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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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

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