\ 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

intransitive verb

: to yield to erasure

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Blistered in the tandoor, the fluffy naan helps erase the last of any sauce. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 13 May 2022 That issue has been at the center of the debate over numerous bills that legislators have rejected in recent years, bills that aimed to allow for more density and to erase hurdles to construction. Dustin Gardiner, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 May 2022 Opponents also see the plans as part of a grander political strategy to erase the line between East and West Jerusalem and strengthen Israel’s claim to sovereignty over all of Jerusalem. New York Times, 3 May 2022 Liberal immigration advocates want Biden to erase the curbs, but doing that is expected to prompt an explosion of migrants entering the U.S. from Mexico that could trigger a voter backlash. Alan Fram,, 7 Apr. 2022 Whitten said another surge of COVID-19, a recession or any number of other setbacks could erase the progress Oregon has made. oregonlive, 6 Apr. 2022 Arizona voters have until April 18 to formally challenge the signatures the campaigns gathered, which could erase at least some of their totals. Ronald J. Hansen, The Arizona Republic, 5 Apr. 2022 After beginning the year in a buying mood, Americans slowed their spending in February on gadgets, home furnishings and other discretionary items as higher prices for necessities — food, gasoline, and shelter — are helping erase any pay increases. Matt Ott, ajc, 29 Mar. 2022 Two years of a pandemic and heightened at-home viewing has helped erase those barriers. Brian Lowry, CNN, 22 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About erase

Dictionary Entries Near erase



erase head

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for erase

Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Erase.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for erase


\ 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


transitive verb
erased; erasing

Legal Definition of erase

: to seal and protect (criminal records) from disclosure

More from Merriam-Webster on erase

Nglish: Translation of erase for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of erase for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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