deracinate

verb

de·​rac·​i·​nate (ˌ)dē-ˈra-sə-ˌnāt How to pronounce deracinate (audio)
deracinated; deracinating

transitive verb

1
: uproot
2
: to remove or separate from a native environment or culture
especially : to remove the racial or ethnic characteristics or influences from
deracination noun

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Get to the Root of Deracinate

There is a hint about the roots of deracinate in its first definition. Deracinate was borrowed into English in the late 16th century from Middle French and can be traced back to the Latin word radix, meaning "root." Although deracinate began life referring to literal plant roots, it quickly took on a second, metaphorical, meaning suggesting removal of anyone or anything from native roots or culture. Other offspring of radix include eradicate ("to pull up by the roots" or "to do away with as completely as if by pulling up by the roots") and radish (the name for a crisp, edible root). Though the second sense of deracinate mentions racial characteristics and influence, the words racial and race derive from razza, an Italian word of uncertain origin.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Vines were deracinated by panicked merlot viticulturists. Rex Pickett, Town & Country, 16 Dec. 2012

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deracinate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Middle French desraciner, from des- de- + racine root, from Late Latin radicina, from Latin radic-, radix — more at root

First Known Use

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of deracinate was in 1599

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Cite this Entry

“Deracinate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deracinate. Accessed 6 Dec. 2022.

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