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

Other Words from eradicate

eradicable \ i-​ˈra-​di-​kə-​bəl How to pronounce eradicate (audio) \ adjective
eradication \ i-​ˌra-​də-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce eradicate (audio) \ noun
eradicator \ i-​ˈra-​di-​ˌkā-​tər How to pronounce eradicate (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 means, 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 Black lawmakers have stated that the new redistricting maps eradicate a total of eight seats located in areas where the majority of the voting population is African American. Ashlee Banks, Essence, 5 Jan. 2022 But the central flaw in U.S. strategy is the belief that military force can eradicate extremist groups or radical ideologies. Robin Wrigh, The New Yorker, 27 Aug. 2021 However, Tony Cooper, the group’s PHS adviser and wrestling coach, and his 75 students know that no program can eradicate this tragedy. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, 26 Feb. 2021 The government reportedly had one primary goal in the scheme: to eradicate extreme poverty by removing children of poor families from the country. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, 12 Apr. 2022 The United Nations’ first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) aims to eradicate poverty around the world. Doug Johnson, Ars Technica, 21 Feb. 2022 The center's goal is to eradicate chronic homelessness in Detroit by 2030. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, 10 Jan. 2022 For every bottle sold, $2 will go to Better Basics, a local nonprofit whose mission is to eradicate poverty and increase literacy rates among Birmingham’s youth. Bob Carlton | Bcarlton@al.com, al, 9 Nov. 2021 Any objective observer can see what is plainly obvious: Since the 1960s, the United States has been trying to eradicate poverty by increasingly redistributing more income, but these transfer programs have miserably failed most of their recipients. Norbert Michel, Forbes, 3 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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

Learn More About eradicate

Time Traveler for eradicate

Time Traveler

The first known use of eradicate was in 1532

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About eradicate

Dictionary Entries Near eradicate

eradicant

eradicate

eradicative

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for eradicate

Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Eradicate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eradicate. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for eradicate

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on eradicate

Nglish: Translation of eradicate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of eradicate for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!