\ 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 erasability (audio) \ noun
erasable \ i-​ˈrā-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce erasable (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 Click erase Wait until the process finishes, then go to the Disk Utility menu > quit. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "How To Wipe a Computer of All Your Personal Data," 6 Nov. 2019 The virus can erase the immune system's memory, leaving us vulnerable to diseases we were previously protected against, two separate studies have found. Michelle Krupa, CNN, "5 things to know for November 4: Impeachment, McDonald's, Airbnb, measles," 4 Nov. 2019 The purges, planned for Nov. 1, will forever erase public records that could someday be needed to facilitate any number of investigations into how the state is operating using taxpayer dollars. The Denver Post Editorial Board, The Denver Post, "Editorial: Accountability will suffer if state employee emails are deleted," 31 Oct. 2019 The measles virus erases that memory, leaving the patient prone to catching the diseases all over again. Denise Grady, New York Times, "Measles Makes Your Immune System’s Memory Forget Defenses Against Other Illnesses," 31 Oct. 2019 The third quarter loss erased small production gains for crude oil, natural gas and refining capacity. Sergio Chapa, Houston Chronicle, "Pemex posts $4.6 billion loss amid sagging exports, domestic sales," 28 Oct. 2019 With the conviction erased, Skakel was released from prison after 11 years. Edmund H. Mahony,, "New law bars public from courtrooms when teens are charged with the most serious felonies," 13 Oct. 2019 The grim start to October, which has knocked 3.6% off the Dow so far, more than erased all of the index’s gain from the previous month. San Diego Union-Tribune, "US stocks sink following weak services sector report," 3 Oct. 2019 The Browns can erase what has been a lackluster month with a win, while the Ravens can put some early distance between themselves and their closest competitor within the division. Dan Labbe, cleveland, "Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens: Who will win on Sunday?," 29 Sep. 2019

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

11 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Erase.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on erase

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for erase

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with erase

Spanish Central: Translation of erase

Nglish: Translation of erase for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of erase for Arabic Speakers

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