ex·​tir·​pate | \ ˈek-stər-ˌpāt How to pronounce extirpate (audio) \
extirpated; extirpating

Definition of extirpate

transitive verb

1a : to destroy completely : wipe out
b : to pull up by the root
2 : to cut out by surgery

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Other Words from extirpate

extirpation \ ˌek-​stər-​ˈpā-​shən How to pronounce extirpate (audio) \ noun
extirpator \ ˈek-​stər-​ˌpā-​tər How to pronounce extirpate (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for extirpate

exterminate, extirpate, eradicate, uproot mean to effect the destruction or abolition of something. exterminate implies complete and immediate extinction by killing off all individuals. exterminate cockroaches extirpate implies extinction of a race, family, species, or sometimes an idea or doctrine by destruction or removal of its means of propagation. many species have been extirpated from the area eradicate implies the driving out or elimination of something that has established itself. a campaign to eradicate illiteracy uproot implies a forcible or violent removal and stresses displacement or dislodgment rather than immediate destruction. the war uprooted thousands

Dig Out the History of Extirpate

If we do a little digging, we discover that extirpate finds its roots in, well, roots (and stumps). Early English uses of the word in the 16th century carried the meaning of "to clear of stumps" or "to pull something up by the root." Extirpate grew out of a combination of the Latin prefix ex- and the Latin noun stirps, meaning "trunk" or "root." The word stirp itself remains rooted in our own language as a term meaning "a line descending from a common ancestor."

Examples of extirpate in a Sentence

the triumph of modern medicine in extirpating certain diseases
Recent Examples on the Web In Indonesia, the V.O.C. eventually followed up the massacre of a people with an effort to extirpate a botanical species. Olufemi O. Taiwo, The New Yorker, 25 Oct. 2021 The plain fact of the matter is that violent leftist revolutionaries of the kind that Salazar promised to extirpate in Portugal are nowhere to be seen on the American political landscape today. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, 12 Aug. 2021 Now, by moving against the commission, Mr. Biden looks to extirpate classical roots. James Panero, WSJ, 26 May 2021 The state has a liberal reputation today, but in the 19th century its white settlers attempted to extirpate almost any nonwhite population and create a Jim Crow system that lasted well into the 20th century. Brian Smale, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Apr. 2021 But habitat loss and unregulated hunting combined to extirpate the big animals by 1900. Tom Carpenter, Outdoor Life, 2 Mar. 2021 The Chinese Communists aren’t trying to extirpate every last trace of theism, thereby inviting the undivided opposition of religious believers and institutions (as the Soviets did with regard to John Paul II’s Vatican). Cameron Hilditch, National Review, 21 Feb. 2021 The modern left’s mission to extirpate sin from society is the product of a secular religion of the most austere sort. Gerard Baker, WSJ, 21 Dec. 2020 The animals are also making inroads into parts of western Oregon where they’ve been extirpated for decades, including a new pack in Lane and Douglas counties. oregonlive, 16 Apr. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'extirpate.' 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 extirpate

1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for extirpate

Latin exstirpatus, past participle of exstirpare, from ex- + stirp-, stirps trunk, root

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The first known use of extirpate was in 1535

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Cite this Entry

“Extirpate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extirpate. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of extirpate for Spanish Speakers


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