de·​lete di-ˈlēt How to pronounce delete (audio)
deleted; deleting

transitive verb

: to eliminate especially by blotting out, cutting out, or erasing
delete a passage in a manuscript
delete a computer file
The email was accidentally deleted.
deletable adjective
an easily deletable photo

Examples of delete in a Sentence

Delete this name from the list. When the movie was shown on TV all the swearwords had been deleted.
Recent Examples on the Web Keeping data fresh and well-labeled, and investing in deleting old data as needed, is a very important place to start. Paula Goldman, Foreign Affairs, 13 Nov. 2023 While at least one was flagged and deleted, the followups were viewed over 600,000 times and sparked numerous response videos from other book creators criticizing the series and its popularity on TikTok. Ct Jones, Rolling Stone, 12 Nov. 2023 The article also noted that Copeland deleted the accounts after the interview and asked that the 1819 News not make the screenshots of the accounts public due to his family and position as a pastor. Jo Yurcaba, NBC News, 7 Nov. 2023 In response to the backlash, Hampshire deleted her posts with pictures of the costume, and issued an apology statement. Kathleen Walsh, Glamour, 2 Nov. 2023 Epic will get to inform jurors that Google deleted evidence such as internal chats about the restrictive agreements with device makers. Paresh Dave, WIRED, 1 Nov. 2023 Photos of the costumes Hampshire and her friend wore have been deleted. Simrin Singh, CBS News, 2 Nov. 2023 In one case, California school board members deleted comments from disgruntled parents and blocked their access to message boards. Devin Dwyer, ABC News, 31 Oct. 2023 Dear News Media discovering now that our new House Speaker Mike Johnson has - just today - deleted his podcast webpage: all the podcasts are saved and archived. Tori Otten, The New Republic, 31 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'delete.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin deletus, past participle of delēre to wipe out, destroy

First Known Use

1540, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of delete was in 1540

Dictionary Entries Near delete

Cite this Entry

“Delete.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​lete di-ˈlēt How to pronounce delete (audio)
deleted; deleting
: to eliminate especially by blotting out, cutting out, or erasing
delete a part of the story
delete a computer file

More from Merriam-Webster on delete

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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