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

The initiative follows a measles outbreak that has affected more than 1,000 people and killed five children, coming shortly after the disease was eradicated in 2016. Beatrice Christofaro, The Seattle Times, "Brazil rushes to thwart measles outbreak from Venezuelans," 6 Aug. 2018 The ring vaccination strategy was used against smallpox in the 1970s until it was officially declared eradicated in 1980. David Mckenzie, CNN, "Fear and failure: How Ebola sparked a global health revolution," 26 May 2018 But eradicating synthetic cannabinoids has been a struggle as their use persists: City hospitals this year have recorded 600 emergency room visits from patients suffering from their use. New York Times, "K2 Eyed as Culprit After 14 People Overdose in Brooklyn," 20 May 2018 For four days bishops from across the world will hear victims’ testimony and recommit to eradicating abuse. Tim Busch, WSJ, "Everyday Catholics Can Fight Sex Abuse," 19 Feb. 2019 Each one of my identities matters in a world hell-bent on eradicating those who dare to exist in bodies like mine. SELF, "How to Make Your Gym or Fitness Space More Inclusive and Welcoming for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People," 30 Oct. 2018 And despite the Colombian government’s effort to eradicate the plant, coca cultivation is at an all-time high. Johnny Harris, Vox, "Why Colombia is losing the cocaine war," 18 Dec. 2018 New Zealand, home to tons of rare endemic species being gobbled up by rats, cats, weasels and other invasive species, is undertaking a monumental campaign to eradicate non-native mammals by 2050. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Coral Reefs Need Fewer Rats and More Bird Poo," 12 July 2018 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

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

31 Mar 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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