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 This strain — joining type 2, which was eradicated in 2015 — no longer exists anywhere in the world, outside of highly secure laboratories. Quanta Magazine, "How to Permanently End Diseases," 3 Dec. 2019 Avert also says other scientists are searching for a different type of cure that would eradicate the virus from the body completely. Elizabeth Wolfe And Renee Valdes, CNN, "On World AIDS Day, these three big challenges stand in the way of HIV/AIDS research," 1 Dec. 2019 Maui native Alana Kysar shares 85 of these dishes with us, in a bright cookbook that will eradicate any winter blues. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, "The 11 Best Cookbooks for Eating Your Way Around the World," 21 Nov. 2019 In Latvia, where 100 raccoon dogs were released into the wild in 1948, their numbers exploded to over 10,000 by 1963, out of control and beyond eradicating. John Myers, Twin Cities, "Never heard of the Minnesota raccoon dog, either? We are lucky," 23 Oct. 2019 The fastball Zimmerman clubbed off Pedro Baez eradicated the possibility. Los Angeles Times, "Dodgers forced into a winner-take-all Game 5 after Nationals beat them soundly," 7 Oct. 2019 Fine-tuning the vaccination effort One of the polio strains – type 2 polio, or PV2 – was declared eradicated worldwide in 2015. Patricia L. Foster, The Conversation, "A newly designed vaccine may help stamp out remaining polio cases worldwide," 13 Sep. 2019 And the threat was also lessened over the years -- conservation efforts have seen invasive predators cleared and eradicated from four of the archipelago's 19 islands. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Is fear hereditary? Darwin's frightened Galapagos finches suggest the answer is yes," 20 Nov. 2019 The development would eradicate forest and tundra and cut migration routes. Juliana Hanle, Scientific American, "The Fight for the Reindeer," 18 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for eradicate

Time Traveler

The first known use of eradicate was in 1532

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Last Updated

8 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Eradicate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eradicated. Accessed 8 December 2019.

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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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