expunge

verb ex·punge \ ik-ˈspənj \

Definition of expunge

expunged; expunging
transitive verb
1 :to strike out, obliterate, or mark for deletion
2 :to efface completely :destroy
3 :to eliminate from one's consciousness
  • expunge a memory

expunger

noun

expunge was our Word of the Day on 02/27/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of expunge in a Sentence

  1. time and the weather have expunged any evidence that a thriving community once existed here

Recent Examples of expunge from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'expunge.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

In medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, a series of dots was used to mark mistakes or to label material that should be deleted from a text, and those deletion dots can help you remember the history of "expunge." They were known as "puncta delentia." The "puncta" part of the name derives from the Latin verb pungere, which can be translated as "to prick or sting" (and you can imagine that a scribe may have felt stung when his mistakes were so punctuated in a manuscript). "Pungere" is also an ancestor of "expunge," as well as a parent of other dotted, pointed, or stinging terms such as "punctuate," "compunction," "poignant," "puncture," and "pungent."

Origin and Etymology of expunge

Latin expungere to mark for deletion by dots, from ex- + pungere to prick — more at pungent


EXPUNGE Defined for English Language Learners

expunge

verb

Definition of expunge for English Language Learners

  • : to remove (something) completely


Law Dictionary

expunge

transitive verb ex·punge \ ik-ˈspənj \

legal Definition of expunge

expunged; expunging
:to cancel out or destroy completely
  • expunge the court records of an acquitted defendant

expungement

noun


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to suppress quietly or indirectly

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