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

New York politicians and community leaders are pushing Mayor Bill de Blasio for more funding to eradicate hate crimes, as police record a dramatic rise in bias complaints. Ben Chapman, WSJ, "New York Police Record 83% Rise in Hate Crimes," 27 May 2019 So much still frustrates the man at the forefront of eradicating discrimination from English soccer. Rob Harris, Fox News, "Volatile political mood emboldens soccer abuse, Ouseley says," 10 Aug. 2018 In May, Sadr’s ticket won an unexpected victory in Iraq’s national elections after running on a platform of eradicating sectarianism, fighting corruption and sidelining both American and Iranian influence in the country. Washington Post, "Public enemy or savior? An Iraqi city could reveal the true Moqtada al-Sadr," 4 July 2018 Each year is an opportunity to consider new strategies toward our goal of eradicating homelessness. miamiherald, "CEOs: Planning for the new year includes team meetings, goal-setting and a trip to recharge | Miami Herald," 29 Jan. 2018 Another strategy is to coat frogs with a solution containing a fungus-fighting bacterium, though that of course wouldn't eradicate the fungus itself. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Some Frogs May Be Developing a Resistance to the Disastrous Chytrid Fungus," 29 Mar. 2018 The best way to eradicate weeds is to use a two-prong approach of applying fertilizer and herbicide at different times of the year. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Get Rid of Lawn Weeds," 19 Apr. 2019 So far, more than 250 organizations — the likes of Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Unilever, H&M, S.C. Johnson, and L’Oréal — have pledged to eradicate plastic waste within seven years. Tabor Wordelman, Teen Vogue, "You Can't Just "Clean Up" the Plastic in the Ocean. Here's Why.," 18 Dec. 2018 None of the display improvements currently taking shape on the horizon promise to completely eradicate the chin. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "2018 was a weird notch year — what’s next?," 18 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

9 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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