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[uh-blit-uh-reyt] /əˈblɪt əˌreɪt/
verb (used with object), obliterated, obliterating.
to remove or destroy all traces of; do away with; destroy completely.
to blot out or render undecipherable (writing, marks, etc.); efface.
Origin of obliterate
1590-1600; < Latin oblitterātus (past participle of oblitterāre, efface, cause to be forgotten), equivalent to ob- ob- + litter(a) letter1 + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
[uh-blit-er-uh-buh l] /əˈblɪt ər ə bəl/ (Show IPA),
obliterator, noun
half-obliterated, adjective
unobliterated, adjective
2. expunge.
Synonym Study
2. See cancel. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for obliterate


(transitive) to destroy every trace of; wipe out completely
Derived Forms
obliteration, noun
obliterative, adjective
obliterator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin oblitterāre to erase, from ob- out + littera letter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for obliterate

c.1600, from Latin obliteratus, past participle of obliterare "cause to disappear, blot out, erase, efface," figuratively "cause to be forgotten," from ob "against" (see ob-) + littera (also litera) "letter, script" (see letter (n.)); abstracted from phrase literas scribere "write across letters, strike out letters." Related: Obliterated; obliterating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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obliterate in Medicine

obliterate o·blit·er·ate (ə-blĭt'ə-rāt', ō-blĭt'-)
v. o·blit·er·at·ed, o·blit·er·at·ing, o·blit·er·ates

  1. To remove an organ or another body part completely, as by surgery, disease, or radiation.

  2. To blot out, especially through filling of a natural space by fibrosis or inflammation.

o·blit'er·a'tion n.
o·blit'er·a'tive (-ə-rā'tĭv, -ər-ə-tĭv) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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