\ 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The Mavericks’ surge didn’t erase all disappointment of their first two losses, including a 23-point defeat to the Lakers in the same arena on Christmas, but the first-half statistics likely erased any doubt about their potential this season. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "3 thoughts on Mavs’ 51-point win over Clippers: Luka Doncic, Dallas show record-setting rhythm and potential," 27 Dec. 2020 But that did not erase the harsh tactics that police officers had used. Los Angeles Times, "Santa Monica politics upended by pandemic, George Floyd protests and economic woes," 20 Dec. 2020 The vaccine isn’t a panacea, Tussler said, and won't immediately erase demand caused by coronavirus. Talis Shelbourne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Federal aid helped the hungry in the Milwaukee area during the coronavirus pandemic. Now they face a 'food cliff.'," 14 Dec. 2020 Yet even a patchwork season of more than 300 matches couldn’t erase the massive financial hit incurred by MLS and its clubs. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "MLS, the Pandemic and American Soccer’s Longest Season," 11 Dec. 2020 That did not erase some of the sting of losing an opportunity to face a strong Virginia team and a chance for MSU’s Joey Hauser to face his brother, Sam. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State basketball's Tom Izzo: Continuing to play is 'a mental relief' for players," 11 Dec. 2020 The nation may be weeks away from coronavirus vaccines becoming available, but that won’t erase the need for testing, said the Rockefeller Foundation’s Eileen O’Connor. Mike Stobbe And Matthew Perrone,, "As COVID-19 surges, health experts hope Biden will put in place what Trump didn’t: A national testing strategy," 6 Dec. 2020 The nation may be weeks away from coronavirus vaccines becoming available, but that won’t erase the need for testing, said the Rockefeller Foundation’s Eileen O’Connor. Mike Stobbe And Matthew Perrone, Anchorage Daily News, "Will the US ever have a national COVID-19 testing strategy?," 6 Dec. 2020 Biden's win will not erase the times white nationalists terrorised people — especially within marginalised communities — under the flag in recent years. Olivia Harrison,, "Can The American Flag Be Reclaimed From Trump? It’s Complicated," 12 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.

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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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Time Traveler for erase

Time Traveler

The first known use of erase was in 1605

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Statistics for erase

Last Updated

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Erase.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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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

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