1 a : to destroy completely : wipe out
b : to pull up by the root
2 : to cut out by surgery
Did You Know?
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."
"The spread of piracy has been treated more as a nuisance to be endured rather than as a deadly cancer that must be extirpated for the sake of both Somalia and the rule of law." — Tara Helfman and Dan O'Shea, Commentary, February 2011
"Over the past decades, the reptiles have reclaimed much of the native range from which they'd been extirpated." — Shannon Tompkins, The Houston Chronicle, 12 May 2016
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Fill in the blanks to create a synonym of extirpate: e _ a _ ic _ _ e.VIEW THE ANSWER
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