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

Throughout his campaign, the future Mexican president repeatedly promised to eradicate the nation’s corruption problem and struck a chord with voters. Rick Noack, Washington Post, "Why Mexicans chose López Obrador as their new leader, in four graphs," 2 July 2018 MEXICO CITY - Mexican voters streamed into polling stations on Sunday morning for a presidential election that could bring to power a leftist who has attacked mainstream politicians and promises to eradicate corruption and defend the poor. Joshua Partlow And Maya Averbuch, BostonGlobe.com, "Mexicans head to polls to choose a new president as relations with US grow unusually fraught," 1 July 2018 In fact, money was largely eradicated, since society was structured into classes from which there is no escape. refinery29.com, "Meet Commander Lawrence, The Most Destabilizing Presence On The Handmaid's Tale," 10 July 2018 With its focus on changing attitudes and eradicating subtle prejudices, this movement has also clashed with one of liberalism’s most fundamental values: freedom of speech. Cathy Young, BostonGlobe.com, "Is liberal democracy failing? No, it’s a victim of its own success," 8 July 2018 By then, poliovirus type 2 had been eradicated in the wild, which meant that every type 2 virus originated from the vaccine itself. Leslie Roberts, Science | AAAS, "Alarming polio outbreak spreads in Congo, threatening global eradication efforts," 2 July 2018 This effectively eradicates the need for checks and controls at the Irish land border, pushing them to sea and air entry points to the island of Ireland. Amanda Sloat, Time, "Brexit Could Jeopardize Peace in Northern Ireland—and America Is Ignoring It," 29 June 2018 Smallpox was eradicated by 1980, after generations of research and immunization; many Americans born before 1972 have smallpox vaccination scars. Rebecca Spalding, Bloomberg.com, "The DNA Cops Who Make Sure the World’s Deadliest Viruses Aren’t Rebuilt," 27 June 2018 Type 2 viruses were last seen in 1999 and were declared eradicated in 2015. Helen Branswell, STAT, "Polio eradication initiative meets resistance to appeals to destroy samples," 25 May 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

10 Nov 2018

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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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