- to get rid of by destroying; destroy totally; extirpate: to exterminate an enemy; to exterminate insects.
Origin of exterminate
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for extermination
Pioneers waged wars of extermination against wolves and other predators.Green Politics Has to Get More Radical, Because Anything Less Is Impractical
April 26, 2014
Camp Liberty was “a concentration camp” and “an extermination camp,” he said.Iranian Bombs and Black Swans in the Nuclear Negotiations
December 17, 2013
I was just the director of the extermination program at Auschwitz.
Even while I was doing the extermination work, I led a normal family life.
Hopefully, we can learn to stop saying that anyone, whether Jew or non-Jew, is worthy of extermination.What Happens When We Call People 'Amalek'
July 17, 2013
The edict for their extermination, was published in the year 1492.
A case of destitution, completely; what the newspapers call 'extermination.'Roland Cashel
Charles James Lever
The extermination of old may sometimes be rapid, but never the introduction.The Foundations of the Origin of Species
One device after another has been added for the extermination of the slow-witted.By the Christmas Fire
Samuel McChord Crothers
"That looks like a war of extermination upon them," said Morris.Four Young Explorers
- (tr) to destroy (living things, esp pests or vermin) completely; annihilate; eliminate
Word Origin and History for extermination
mid-15c., "repulsion;" 1540s, "utter destruction," from Middle French extermination and directly from Latin exterminationem (nominative exterminatio), noun of action from past participle stem of exterminare (see 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.