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

Fighting back, conservationists have been trying to eradicate rats with ambitious poisoning campaigns, targeting larger and larger islands. Charlie Hamilton James, National Geographic, "How rats became an inescapable part of city living," 17 June 2019 Though measles was considered eradicated in 2000 with the advent of the measles vaccine, the U.S. may lose that status if the outbreak continues. Helen Murphy, PEOPLE.com, "Jessica Biel Says She's 'Not Against Vaccinations' After Lobbying with Anti-Vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr.," 13 June 2019 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has counted more than 1,000 cases of measles this year — a record high since the disease was declared eradicated from the United States in 2000. Anna Staver, The Denver Post, "Colorado’s worst-in-the-nation measles vaccination rate drops again," 13 June 2019 Entertainment Weekly: Why did Respawn decide to set the game between the Jedi eradicating Order 66 and Rogue One? Evan Lewis, EW.com, "Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order," 9 June 2019 Climate change, nature conservation and eradicating hunger have also been mentioned as areas of focus. Katie Bain, Billboard, "Avicii's Father on Tim Bergling Foundation: 'We Want Results. We Don't Want To Sit and Talk and Spend Money'," 6 June 2019 The problem isn't one unique to Instagram, either — many other outlets have tried to eradicate pro-eating disorder communities with varying degrees of luck. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Instagram Plans to Strengthen Ban on Pro-Eating Disorder Content," 12 Dec. 2018 But Ebola has also encouraged a broader rethink of the approach to global health, shifting the emphasis from trying to eradicate single diseases to building health systems that are resilient to diverse threats and less reliant on aid. The Economist, "An affordable necessityBoth in rich and poor countries, universal health care brings huge benefits," 26 Apr. 2018 Along with the growing use of vaccines, these drugs would change the face of medicine, rendering previously deadly infections treatable or largely eradicating them altogether. Quanta Magazine, "The Strange Case of Typhoid Mary," 31 Aug. 2016

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

23 Jun 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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