Synonym Chooser

How does the verb eradicate differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of eradicate are exterminate, extirpate, and uproot. While all these words mean "to effect the destruction or abolition of something," eradicate implies the driving out or elimination of something that has established itself.

a campaign to eradicate illiteracy

In what contexts can exterminate take the place of eradicate?

Although the words exterminate and eradicate have much in common, exterminate implies complete and immediate extinction by killing off all individuals.

exterminate cockroaches

When is it sensible to use extirpate instead of eradicate?

While in some cases nearly identical to eradicate, 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

When can uproot be used instead of eradicate?

The words uproot and eradicate are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, uproot implies a forcible or violent removal and stresses displacement or dislodgment rather than immediate destruction.

the war uprooted thousands


Thesaurus Entries Near eradicate

Cite this Entry

“Eradicate.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on eradicate

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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