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 But to fully eradicate Covid-19 on a planet of over 7 billion, your mask and clean hands won't cut it. Bill Weir, CNN, "5 lessons from the pandemic to tackle the climate crisis," 7 Aug. 2020 The new effort to eradicate the goats, deemed a threat to native bighorn sheep by biologists, has Gov. Mark Gordon's support. Mead Gruver, Star Tribune, "Grand Teton seeks goat cull help after canceled air shoot," 6 Aug. 2020 Now, Washington officials are racing against the clock to find the rest of the hornets and eradicate them from the state before the hornets start to reproduce. Li Cohen, CBS News, "Washington officials captured their first invasive murder hornet, with less than two months until mating season," 31 July 2020 Part of what makes prejudice so hard to eradicate is that false perceptions are self-reinforcing. Krista Kafer, The Denver Post, "Kafer: Breaking the cycle of prejudice," 19 June 2020 But following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota and other examples of police brutality against Black people in the U.S., there has been a major move nationwide to eradicate racially insensitive material. Tom Withers, Houston Chronicle, "Cleveland Indians look into changing name amid pressure," 3 July 2020 The flare-ups bear watching, and preparing for, but the original lockdowns were never going to eradicate the virus short of unacceptable economic pain. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Coping With Covid-19," 24 June 2020 Fontes, who assumed office after a fumbled presidential preference election in 2016 by the former county recorder pledged to simplify the voting process and eradicate long wait times. Jessica Boehm, The Arizona Republic, "Who is running for Maricopa County recorder? Fontes faces two Republican challengers," 10 July 2020 Samoa might seem like a simple place to eradicate a disease. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "There was an effective vaccine. An outbreak struck anyway.," 7 July 2020

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

11 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Eradicate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eradicate. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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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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