expunge

verb
ex·​punge | \ ik-ˈspənj How to pronounce expunge (audio) \
expunged; expunging

Definition of expunge

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

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Other Words from expunge

expunger noun

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."

Examples of expunge in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

But since voters legalized recreational marijuana in a 2016 ballot initiative, only about 6,000 Californians have petitioned courts to have their records expunged. Ted Rall, WSJ, "Criminal Records for Obsolete Crimes," 9 Jan. 2019 Buy Photo A Pennsylvania legislator introduced a bill Monday that would give medical marijuana patients a chance of expunging a conviction of marijuana possession if the charge resulted from their use of cannabis for medical purposes. Sam Wood, Philly.com, "Pa. lawmaker asks to erase marijuana convictions for patients," 8 May 2018 Poland’s then-prime minister, Leszek Miller, said the funds would expunge Western Europe’s failure to save the east from communism. Drew Hinshaw, WSJ, "The EU Spent a Bundle to Unify the Continent. It’s Not Working.," 8 Aug. 2018 So Facebook created a capability that let its executives expunge their app messages after a period of time. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "Facebook's new policy: Advertisers pushing political issues must verify their identities," 6 Apr. 2018 Arpaio is appealing the ruling that refused to expunge his criminal record. Jacques Billeaud, The Seattle Times, "Court picks prosecutor to defend ruling on Arpaio’s pardon," 16 Oct. 2018 This book allows us to observe not just the nimble-mouthed elf of his previous work, but a man in his seventh decade expunging his darker secrets and contemplating mortality. Alan Cumming, New York Times, "David Sedaris Has a New Essay Collection. It Changed Alan Cumming’s Whole Worldview.," 25 May 2018 The expungement would happen for anyone who’s been convicted of activities related to drugs that are now-legal, and their records would be automatically expunged and sealed. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Marijuana Initiatives in the Midterms That Could Change Everything," 27 Sep. 2018 The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office also declined to comment; by law, prosecutors cannot comment on or even acknowledge cases that have been sealed and expunged. David Ovalle, miamiherald, "Citizens adjuster, busted in insurance scam, kept working. Cops knew. Company didn’t. | Miami Herald," 30 Mar. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of expunge

1602, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for expunge

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

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Statistics for expunge

Last Updated

29 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for expunge

The first known use of expunge was in 1602

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More Definitions for expunge

expunge

verb

English Language Learners Definition of expunge

formal : to remove (something) completely

expunge

transitive verb
ex·​punge | \ ik-ˈspənj How to pronounce expunge (audio) \
expunged; expunging

Legal Definition of expunge

: to cancel out or destroy completely expunge the court records of an acquitted defendant

Other Words from expunge

expungement noun

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Comments on expunge

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one that collects or salvages junk

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