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 Data from the Utah Courts, for example, shows only three cases where renters sought expungements from the thousands of Cullimore firm evictions since 2019, and in each of those instances, the Cullimore firm fought the motion to expunge. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Renters can be haunted by past evictions or debt claims even if they never made it to court," 22 Feb. 2021 For me, saying it out loud was nothing short of devastating, especially because a huge part of my mission had been to help young women expunge patriarchy both from their own minds and their communities. Gabrielle Korn, refinery29.com, "How Could I Be A ‘Good Feminist’ & Have An Eating Disorder?," 27 Jan. 2021 For me, saying it out loud was nothing short of devastating, especially because a huge part of my mission had been to help young women expunge patriarchy both from their own minds and their communities. Gabrielle Korn, refinery29.com, "How Could I Be A ‘Good Feminist’ & Have An Eating Disorder?," 26 Jan. 2021 Now, prosecutors there plan to expunge another 11,000 cases early in 2021. Robert Mccoppin, chicagotribune.com, "Pot legalization was to bring expungements to many with records in Illinois. Numbers so far are low, but more are expected to be on the way.," 28 Dec. 2020 McCabe asked the judge to compel the DOJ to provide him with back pay, his full pension, and to expunge his record. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "Judge allows Andrew McCabe's wrongful firing lawsuit against DOJ to move forward," 24 Sep. 2020 The remaining counties have until Jan. 1, 2025 to expunge their arrest records. Robert Mccoppin, chicagotribune.com, "Illinois expunges nearly half a million cannabis cases as part of legalization," 31 Dec. 2020 These are some of the key changes: Applicants will be allowed to expunge up to three felonies and an unlimited number of misdemeanors, with certain conditions on the types of offenses that qualify. Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit residents can apply now for help with expungement under new laws," 5 Dec. 2020 The bill also would reduce barriers to research, solve current banking and tax woes, expunge some cannabis offenses and further diversify efforts in the industry. Alicia Wallace, CNN, "House passes landmark cannabis bill, but legal weed isn't around the corner," 4 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for expunge

Time Traveler

The first known use of expunge was in 1602

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Statistics for expunge

Last Updated

3 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Expunge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expunge. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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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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