\ 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

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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 Mario Florez, the district’s director of equity and inclusion, said the goal was not to erase history, but to represent people who cannot speak for themselves. Jesse Leavenworth,, "South Windsor school board dumps Columbus for Indigenous Peoples Day," 2 Mar. 2021 Proponents of the name, on the other hand, see the effort to change the name as an attempt to erase the institution’s history and a misguided response to calls for a politically correct culture. Taylor Stevens, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah Senate close to breaking impasse over stalled Dixie State name change bill," 24 Feb. 2021 The Hurricanes look to erase a poor recent bowl history. David Furones,, "Hurricanes look to finish 2020 on a positive, bridge into ‘21 in Cheez-It Bowl vs. Oklahoma State," 28 Dec. 2020 And last year, Armenian authorities’ renovation of mosques in the town of Shusha attracted criticism among Azerbaijanis who viewed it as an attempt to erase local history, reported Joshua Kucera for Eurasianet at the time. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why Scholars, Cultural Institutions Are Calling to Protect Armenian Heritage," 24 Nov. 2020 The pope said a better way is to debate the past through dialogue, and called removing statues an attempt to erase history, according to the AP. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Pope Francis expresses support for George Floyd protests, but not forceful downing of historic statues," 24 Nov. 2020 Others insisted that changing the names amounted to a bad-faith attempt to erase history. Washington Post, "Alexandria City schools will rename T.C. Williams High, of ‘Remember the Titans’ fame," 23 Nov. 2020 As Women’s History Month draws to a close, Omar penned the following open letter in his push to help erase misogynistic lyrics in R&B/hip-hop. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, "Artist Xavier Omar Pens Open Letter to Erase Negative Lyrics About Black Women: 'Enough Is Enough'," 30 Mar. 2021 The Dodgers scored four runs in the ninth inning but couldn’t erase a nine-run deficit in a 9-6 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Fields of Phoenix on Tuesday. Los Angeles Times, "Walker Buehler lit for nine runs in first five innings of Dodgers’ loss to Brewers," 23 Mar. 2021

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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Learn More about erase

Statistics for erase

Last Updated

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Erase.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

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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 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

Nglish: Translation of erase for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of erase for Arabic Speakers

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