\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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Khomeini and the other ayatollahs attempted to eradicate Iran’s national identity by erasing its pre-Islamic past. Eliora Katz, WSJ, "Iranians Are Now Chanting ‘Death to Palestine’," 13 July 2018 Graphic facilitators carry white-out tape — there’s no shame in erasing something if the conversation takes an unexpected turn — and many use markers that can be refilled and are comfortable enough to hold for a long time. Andy Rosen,, "Quick on the draw: Companies use live illustrators to spice up presentations," 10 July 2018 Still, financial markets in Asia fell sharply on the development before erasing some of those early losses as investors responded with calm. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "Trump launches $34 billion trade war and China 'immediately' fires back," 6 July 2018 Bernard shoots Dolores in The Forge to prevent her from erasing the Valley Beyond, and all the hosts inside it, from existence., "Westworld Season 2 Finale Recap: A Whole Lotta Ben Barnes," 25 June 2018 As the report acknowledges, some people believe that removing Confederate symbols is tantamount to erasing a chapter of United States history. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "At Least 110 Confederate Monuments and Symbols Have Been Removed Since 2015," 9 June 2018 And our study of removing that building isn’t one about erasing that story. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, "Proposed Alamo plan would overhaul heart of downtown but is stirring controversy," 7 June 2018 Two years ago, a customer told him that a Nazi flag had been painted at a local playground. Instead of erasing the swastika, Omari used spray paint to turn the image into a mosquito flying into a net. NBC News, "Anti-Semitic incidents provoke unease in Berlin," 11 May 2018 But that acceleration doesn’t erase the trauma that came with separation. Maya Rhodan, Time, "For the Trump Administration, Reuniting Migrant Families Proves Easier Said Than Done," 12 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.

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

Statistics for erase

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for erase

The first known use of erase was in 1605

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!