\ ˈrāz How to pronounce raze (audio) \
razed; razing

Definition of raze

transitive verb

1 : to destroy to the ground : demolish raze an old building
2a : to scrape, cut, or shave off
b archaic : erase

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from raze

razer noun

Examples of raze in a Sentence

an entire city block razed by a terrible fire the developer razed the old school building and built a high-rise condominium complex

Recent Examples on the Web

However, the 10,000-square-foot home and the surrounding structures — a guesthouse, stables and chauffeur’s quarters — were razed three years later. Roger Vincent, latimes.com, "Paul Allen puts a $150-million price on storied acreage in Beverly Crest," 11 July 2018 Another large-scale effort is Phipps’s redevelopment of Lambert, a $600 million multiyear project that will raze apartment buildings considered crime-prone and dated, replacing them with towers roughly twice as tall. New York Times, "West Farms, the Bronx: Flora, Fauna and Renewal," 13 June 2018 The structures on the 1.2-acre property, at 17998 NW 129th Ave, were razed by 2011. David Ovalle, miamiherald, "Who shot the cockfight ref? Secret arena outside Miami was packed but nobody's talking," 12 June 2018 In 2016, the governor, along with Baltimore’s mayor, announced a $700 million program to raze blighted buildings in the city to make way for reinvestment. Lynh Bui, Washington Post, "Crime in Baltimore weighs heavily in Md. governor’s race," 4 June 2018 Typically, the department issues orders to raze dilapidated buildings without the option of making repairs, said Kail Decker, an assistant city attorney. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee tells housing developer to renovate Walker's Point buildings or demolish them," 20 Feb. 2018 On June 21, 1959, the Los Angeles Times informed its readers that the building would be razed. Lesley M.m. Blume, Town & Country, "Inside Frank Gehry's Overhaul of Garden of Allah, L.A.’s Most Infamous Corner," 25 Feb. 2019 In Philadelphia, where few incentives exist to encourage developers to preserve properties rather than raze them, many builders prefer to rely on the wrecking ball. Michael Boren, Philly.com, "Protesters rally against planned demolition of historic Bella Vista church," 16 June 2018 It is expected to be the last day of competition held in the 99-year-old stadium before it is razed and reconstructed. Ken Goe, OregonLive.com, "UO women make a last title push at 'historic' Hayward Field: Oregon track & field rundown," 9 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for raze

alteration of rase

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about raze

Dictionary Entries near raze

ray parenchyma


ray tracheid





Statistics for raze

Last Updated

6 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for raze

The first known use of raze was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for raze



English Language Learners Definition of raze

: to destroy (something, such as a building) completely


\ ˈrāz How to pronounce raze (audio) \
razed; razing

Kids Definition of raze

: to destroy completely by knocking down or breaking to pieces : demolish

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on raze

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with raze

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for raze

Spanish Central: Translation of raze

Nglish: Translation of raze for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of raze for Arabic Speakers

Comments on raze

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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