eradicate

verb
erad·​i·​cate | \ i-ˈra-də-ˌkāt \
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 \ adjective
eradication \ i-​ˌra-​də-​ˈkā-​shən \ noun
eradicator \ i-​ˈra-​di-​ˌkā-​tər \ 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

That virus spread rapidly in the first half of the 20th century, reaching the peak of its epidemic in the 1950s — around the same time the vaccine that eventually eradicated the virus in the U.S. was approved. Josephine Yurcaba, Teen Vogue, "What to Know About AFM, the Polio-Like Illness Spreading Among Kids," 4 Dec. 2018 And in the event scripts missed the pages, such campaigns were something Facebook would quickly eradicate once they were reported by users. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Already facing an uphill misinformation fight, Facebook loses to scammers, too," 16 Oct. 2018 Police dogs in Colombia often participate in dangerous missions, sniffing out landmines for officers who eradicate coca fields, or rescuing bodies in combat zones. Joshua Goodman And Manuel Rueda, Fox News, "Colombia honors 14 sniffer dogs at emotional retirement," 21 Sep. 2018 By the 1930s, the wolf was all but eradicated from the continental U.S. Kale Williams, OregonLive.com, "As Oregon wolves rebound, tensions rise over livestock attacks," 10 June 2018 Immediately after the treatment, the diversity of the men’s microbiomes was hugely reduced, but the bacteria were not entirely eradicated. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Gut bacteria recover from antibiotics, but they may take six months," 28 Oct. 2018 Today, that singular genome has all but disappeared, eradicated by the 15th-century arrival of European settlers and their canine companions. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "European Dogs Devastated Indigenous American Pup Populations," 6 July 2018 Fortunately, there are treatments to eradicate, or at least control, the insect. Sheila Vilvens, Cincinnati.com, "The latest invasive insect has 'sucking mouthparts' that kill hemlock trees," 11 May 2018 A decade ago, Mexico eradicated 27,000 acres, according to the United Nations. Author: Joshua Partlow, Anchorage Daily News, "US has been quietly helping Mexico with new, high-tech ways to fight opium," 16 Apr. 2018

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

6 Jan 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

: to remove (something) completely : to eliminate or destroy (something harmful)

eradicate

verb
erad·​i·​cate | \ i-ˈra-də-ˌkāt \
eradicated; eradicating

Kids Definition of eradicate

: to destroy completely The disease has been eradicated.

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