\ i-ˈrās How to pronounce erase (audio) , British -ˈrāz \
erased; erasing

Definition of erase

transitive verb

1a : to rub or scrape out (something, such as written, painted, or engraved letters) erase an error
b : to remove written or drawn marks from erase a blackboard
c : to remove (recorded matter) from a magnetic medium also : to remove recorded matter from erase a videotape
d : to delete from computer storage erase a file
2a : to remove from existence or memory as if by erasing
b : to nullify the effect or force of

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from erase

erasability \ i-​ˌrā-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce erasability (audio) \ noun
erasable \ i-​ˈrā-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce erasable (audio) \ adjective

Examples of erase in a Sentence

The recording can be erased and the tape used again. Several important files were accidentally erased. You can erase the tape and use it again. She erased the wrong answer from her paper and filled in the correct one. I erased the chalk marks from the blackboard.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web So by granting the Rockets’ protest, the NBA would not just be erasing an officiating error. Mike Finger,, "Houston Rockets’ protest leaves NBA with only one real option," 5 Dec. 2019 Later, technicians will digitally erase any contemporary elements still visible through the diner's windows (including stray paparazzi, who get remarkably close to the actors on the public street). Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY, "'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Season 3 set visit: We watched Midge drop baby news," 3 Dec. 2019 Baltimore quickly erased a 7-0 deficit thanks to Jackson, a leading MVP candidate who has accounted for a league-best 32 touchdowns (25 passing, seven rushing). Eric Branch,, "A classic: 49ers fall to Ravens, 20-17, on last-second kick," 1 Dec. 2019 But the Vikings would erase all that by winning out. Chris Tomasson, Twin Cities, "With playoff positioning on line, Vikings ready for ‘huge’ game at Seattle," 26 Nov. 2019 Corey Ruben’s 3-point goal erased a 58-57 Sam Rayburn with 50 seconds left but that was plenty of time for the Texans to tie it with the aid of an inbounds play with 18 seconds remaining. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Deer Park, La Porte teams finish 7-8 at Texas Invitational," 25 Nov. 2019 However, a motion penalty erased Stutsman’s 5-yard TD run out of wildcat formation and the drive sputtered to an end with a missed 28-yard field-goal attempt. Lynn Ramsey,, "Foundation Academy football falls at Lakeland Victory Christian," 22 Nov. 2019 Over the past century, dozens of national parks and monuments have been redesignated, reduced, or simply erased (typically for lack of funding). National Geographic, "Beat the crowds at these abandoned U.S. national parks," 9 Nov. 2019 Those Hoosiers erased a huge deficit at Iowa, went 2-0 against the SEC, finished ranked in the top 20 and ended BYU’s undefeated season just before Christmas in San Diego. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "1979 Holiday Bowl oral history: Bolstered by trip to Tijuana and timely prayer, IU stunned BYU," 23 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'erase.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of erase

1605, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for erase

Latin erasus, past participle of eradere, from e- + radere to scratch, scrape — more at rodent

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about erase

Time Traveler for erase

Time Traveler

The first known use of erase was in 1605

See more words from the same year

Statistics for erase

Last Updated

9 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Erase.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 12 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for erase


How to pronounce erase (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of erase

: to remove (something that has been recorded) from a tape (such as a videotape or audiotape) or a computer disk also : to remove recorded material from (a tape or disk)
: to remove (something written) by rubbing or scraping so that it can no longer be seen
: to remove something written from (a surface)


\ i-ˈrās How to pronounce erase (audio) \
erased; erasing

Kids Definition of erase

1 : to cause to disappear by rubbing or scraping erase a chalk mark
2 : to remove marks from erase a chalkboard
3 : to remove recorded matter from erase a CD

Other Words from erase

eraser \ i-​ˈrā-​sər \ noun
erased; erasing

Legal Definition of erase

: to seal and protect (criminal records) from disclosure

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on erase

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for erase

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with erase

Spanish Central: Translation of erase

Nglish: Translation of erase for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of erase for Arabic Speakers

Comments on erase

What made you want to look up erase? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a period of high artistic development

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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