\i-ˈrās, 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

intransitive verb

: to yield to erasure

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Other Words from erase

erasability \i-​ˌrā-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
erasable \i-​ˈrā-​sə-​bəl \ 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Apple appeared to be a safety play during that falloff, which erased roughly $5.5 trillion in global stock-market value. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "Apple Stock Flirts With Bear-Market Territory," 19 Nov. 2018 And in Mexico, architects are finding ways to personalize affordable housing in the wake of a federal building program that added millions of standardized homes, but in a way that erased local culture. Diana Budds, Curbed, "3 ways architects can improve social equity," 8 Nov. 2018 Enter the all mighty concealer: a powerful tool that can erase even the darkest of dark circles and hide unwanted sun spots in a matter of seconds. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "The Best Concealers of All Time, According to 10 Celebrity Makeup Artists," 20 Oct. 2018 The idea that the word is some kind of red line that erases plausible deniability is an illusion. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "The debate over Donald Trump’s alleged n-word tape, explained," 16 Aug. 2018 The decline, which erased about $120 billion in market value, is the largest one-day drop in the history of the American stock market. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Why Twitter should ignore the phony outrage over “shadow banning”," 27 July 2018 While Brian Anderson’s immediate groundout probably would have resulted in a double play that erased Dietrich anyway, the mistake helped quell a promising Marlins rally. Matthew Defranks,, "A Closer Look: Milwaukee Brewers 8, Miami Marlins 4," 11 July 2018 The Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef system on earth, was struck in 2016 and 2017 by massive die-offs of coral — caused by extreme ocean temperatures — that erased much of its dazzling color. Jacqueline Williams, New York Times, "Great Barrier Reef Imperiled as Heat Worsens Die-Offs, Experts Say," 4 July 2018 The Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef system on Earth, was struck in 2016 and 2017 by massive die-offs of coral — caused by extreme ocean temperatures — that erased much of its dazzling color. New York Times,, "Great Barrier Reef imperiled as heat worsens damage," 4 July 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for erase

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for erase

The first known use of erase was in 1605

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More Definitions for erase



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 \
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on erase

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with erase

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


to enclose within walls

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