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

Small populations were eradicated in the 1970s, but nutria were again discovered in 2017. San Diego Union-Tribune, "California to add invasive rodent to list of prohibited pets," 26 Aug. 2019 That, along with the predatory behavior of foxes (now eradicated) that had been introduced by European settlers, led to a sharp decrease in the island’s population of little penguins. Besha Rodell, New York Times, "To Save Tiny Penguins, This Suburb Was Wiped Off the Map," 9 Aug. 2019 And eradicating cash, an anonymous payment method, for a digital system could let governments snoop on people’s shopping habits and private titans exploit their personal data. The Economist, "Rich countries must start planning for a cashless future," 1 Aug. 2019 Colorado was once home to gray wolves, but they were eradicated in the state with the last ones killed by about 1940, according to CPW. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Two reported wolf sightings in Colorado being investigated by state wildlife officials," 8 July 2019 In 2000, the United States declared the measles eradicated, thanks to widespread use of vaccines. Kaiser Health News, oregonlive.com, "Measles outbreaks require meticulous detective work to halt the spread," 15 June 2019 An experimental therapy that extracts and multiplies powerful immune-system cells from inside tumors eradicated a patient’s breast cancer, a scientific first that could lead to new ways of treating malignancies that have resisted all other efforts. Michelle Cortez, Bloomberg.com, "Immune-System Therapy Eradicated Breast Cancer in New Breakthrough," 4 June 2018 The immunotherapy didn’t eradicate my disease, but my response to subsequent chemotherapy has been beyond expectations. Marie Mccullough, Philly.com, "Yardley man has terminal illness, but can't support GOP 'right to try'," 24 May 2018 The hope that time travel will eradicate any lingering memories of the other Terminator movies? Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Altered what? Netflix already has a great sci-fi series—Hulu does, too," 1 Feb. 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

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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