eradicate

verb
erad·​i·​cate | \ i-ˈra-də-ˌkāt How to pronounce eradicate (audio) \
eradicated; eradicating

Definition of eradicate

transitive verb

1 : to do away with as completely as if by pulling up by the roots programs to eradicate illiteracy
2 : to pull up by the roots

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Other Words from eradicate

eradicable \ i-​ˈra-​di-​kə-​bəl How to pronounce eradicate (audio) \ adjective
eradication \ i-​ˌra-​də-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce eradicate (audio) \ noun
eradicator \ i-​ˈra-​di-​ˌkā-​tər How to pronounce eradicate (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for eradicate

exterminate, extirpate, eradicate, uproot mean to effect the destruction or abolition of something. exterminate implies complete and immediate extinction by killing off all individuals. exterminate cockroaches 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 eradicate implies the driving out or elimination of something that has established itself. a campaign to eradicate illiteracy uproot implies a forcible or violent removal and stresses displacement or dislodgment rather than immediate destruction. the war uprooted thousands

The Root of Eradicate Is, Literally, Root

Given that eradicate first meant "to pull up by the roots," it's not surprising that the root of eradicate is, in fact, "root." Eradicate, which first turned up in English in the 16th century, comes from eradicatus, the past participle of the Latin verb eradicare. Eradicare, in turn, can be traced back to the Latin word radix, meaning "root" or "radish." Although eradicate began life as a word for literal uprooting, by the mid-17th century it had developed a metaphorical application to removing things the way one might yank an undesirable weed up by the roots. Other descendants of radix in English include radical and radish. Even the word root itself is related; it comes from the same ancient word that gave Latin radix.

Examples of eradicate in a Sentence

The disease has now been completely eradicated. His ambition is to eradicate poverty in his community.
Recent Examples on the Web The government had drastically increased its efforts to eradicate the crop — and with it, their livelihoods. New York Times, 26 Sep. 2021 Smith says the motion signals his desire to eradicate negativity. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, 31 July 2021 These aggressive efforts to eradicate the invasive species aren’t because the hornet poses a special threat to humans. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 June 2021 The new findings raise the specter that HIV/AIDS — a 40-year-old scourge that has killed 32 million worldwide — could complicate efforts to eradicate a COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 3.5 million in less than a year and a half. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, 3 June 2021 But the mission to eradicate the invasive trees isn’t over. Morgan Krakow, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Aug. 2021 State entomologists will now develop a plan to eradicate the nest, most likely this week. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 24 Aug. 2021 Today, the international effort to eradicate landmines around the world continues. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, 16 Aug. 2021 For attackers, this would be an avenue to establishing deep, lasting control—hospitals would need to install another curative firmware update to eradicate the intruders. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, 2 Aug. 2021

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

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First Known Use of eradicate

1532, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for eradicate

Latin eradicatus, past participle of eradicare, from e- + radic-, radix root — more at root

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Time Traveler for eradicate

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The first known use of eradicate was in 1532

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Dictionary Entries Near eradicate

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eradicate

eradicative

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Last Updated

23 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Eradicate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eradicate. Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for eradicate

eradicate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of eradicate

: to remove (something) completely : to eliminate or destroy (something harmful)

eradicate

verb
erad·​i·​cate | \ i-ˈra-də-ˌkāt How to pronounce eradicate (audio) \
eradicated; eradicating

Kids Definition of eradicate

: to destroy completely The disease has been eradicated.

More from Merriam-Webster on eradicate

Nglish: Translation of eradicate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of eradicate for Arabic Speakers

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