extirpate

verb
ex·​tir·​pate | \ˈek-stər-ˌpāt \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from extirpate

extirpation \ ˌek-​stər-​ˈpā-​shən \ noun
extirpator \ ˈek-​stər-​ˌpā-​tər \ 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

Wolves are native to Wisconsin but were considered extirpated by the middle 20th century due to unregulated hunting, poisoning and bounties. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: With at least 900 wolves in the state, it's time to gauge public attitudes again," 6 June 2018 So in 2008, when biologists found that the first wolves had returned to Washington since the animals were extirpated there in the 1930s, officials pledged to learn from other states’ mistakes. New York Times, "Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf Scientist?," 5 July 2018 Wild turkeys are native to Wisconsin but were extirpated by unregulated hunting in the 1800s. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin spring turkey harvest drops 10%," 2 June 2018 The bird is considered extirpated, or nearly extinct, in the Garden State. Frank Kummer, Philly.com, "Wild quail, nearly vanished in N.J., mount fragile comeback," 2 May 2018 But others, like London’s mayor, intend to extirpate them by whatever means necessary. Melanie Finn, New York Times, "When a Young Immigrant Vanishes in London, Can a Wildlife Biologist Help?," 20 Apr. 2018 The researchers begin by extirpating some common myths. Siddhartha Mukherjee, New York Times, "Can Doctors Choose Between Saving Lives and Saving a Fortune?," 3 Apr. 2018 Cougars, also called mountain lions, pumas and catamounts, were native to Wisconsin but were extirpated through unregulated hunting in the 1800s. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Cougar confirmed from Feb. 7 video in Washington County," 13 Feb. 2018 Today, the lark has been extirpated from 90 percent of its native range, living only in South Puget Sound, dredge disposal sites in the lower Columbia River and in the Willamette Valley. Kale Williams, OregonLive.com, "Lawsuit seeks stronger protections for 'threatened' Oregon bird species," 1 Mar. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about extirpate

Listen to Our Podcast about extirpate

Dictionary Entries near extirpate

extinguish

extinguishant

extirp

extirpate

extl

extol

extollingly

Statistics for extirpate

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for extirpate

The first known use of extirpate was in 1535

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for extirpate

extirpate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of extirpate

: to destroy or remove (something) completely

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on extirpate

What made you want to look up extirpate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

something that serves to warn or remind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!