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[ik-stur-muh-neyt] /ɪkˈstɜr məˌneɪt/
verb (used with object), exterminated, exterminating.
to get rid of by destroying; destroy totally; extirpate:
to exterminate an enemy; to exterminate insects.
Origin of exterminate
1535-45; < Latin exterminātus, past participle of extermināre to extermine; see -ate1
Related forms
[ik-stur-muh-nuh-buh l] /ɪkˈstɜr mə nə bəl/ (Show IPA),
extermination, noun
nonextermination, noun
self-extermination, noun
unexterminable, adjective
unexterminated, adjective
eradicate, abolish, annihilate, eliminate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for exterminate


(transitive) to destroy (living things, esp pests or vermin) completely; annihilate; eliminate
Derived Forms
exterminable, adjective
extermination, noun
exterminative, exterminatory, adjective
exterminator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin extermināre to drive away, from terminus boundary
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for exterminate

1540s, "drive away," from Latin exterminatus, past participle of exterminare "drive out, expel, drive beyond boundaries," also, in Late Latin "destroy," from phrase ex termine "beyond the boundary," from ex- "out of" (see ex-) + termine, ablative of termen "boundary, limit, end" (see terminus).

Meaning "destroy utterly" is from 1640s in English, a sense found in equivalent words in French and in the Vulgate; earlier in this sense was extermine (mid-15c.). Related: Exterminated; exterminating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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