\ 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 erase (audio) \ noun
erasable \ i-​ˈrā-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce erase (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 How much should Saturday’s impotent performance erase the earlier win in the eyes of the committee? Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Hey, College Football Playoff committee, put Cincinnati in the semifinals," 20 Dec. 2020 The sands’ journey around the flanks of Mount Sharp will erase all trace of your passing. The Economist, "Extraterrestrial hiking Following the tracks of NASA’s Curiosity rover," 16 Dec. 2020 Moore misses the one-and-one, and Auburn goes into the half trailing by one. -- Two turnovers erase two defensive stops. Giana Han, al, "Rewinding Auburn’s 80-63 win over Texas Southern," 16 Dec. 2020 And there’s no way one cruise-control win for the Bears can erase the damage from that brutal six-game losing streak. Dan Wiederer,, "Column: Do your eyes trust what they see? Translating the Chicago Bears’ most convincing win all season is complicated.," 13 Dec. 2020 Do not reformat the drive to optimize it for the Mac; that will erase all data on the drive. Steve Alexander, Star Tribune, "Alexander: What to do if FaceTime video calls disconnect," 13 Dec. 2020 After Eastern Washington took a 43-38 halftime lead while hitting its final seven 3-pointers of the first half, Jemarl Baker helped erase the deficit quickly for Arizona. Bruce Pascoe, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona Wildcats basketball rallies to edge Eastern Washington," 6 Dec. 2020 The BREATHE Act, a bill drafted by the policy table of the Movement for Black Lives, would erase federal funding for excess military equipment that has been funneled to local police departments, among other aims. Aaron Morrison, The Christian Science Monitor, "Ballot results: Groundswell support for criminal justice reform," 23 Nov. 2020 Better, then, that members of Congress erase any perception of impropriety on their own — and protect their portfolios to boot — by getting out of individual stocks altogether, voluntarily. Ron Lieber, New York Times, "Time to Take a Pledge: No Stocks if You’re a Member of Congress," 14 Nov. 2020

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

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Erase.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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