verb (used with object), de·let·ed, de·let·ing.

to strike out or remove (something written or printed); cancel; erase; expunge.

Origin of delete

1485–95; < Latin dēlētus (past participle of dēlēre to destroy), equivalent to dēl- destroy + -ē- thematic vowel + -tus past participle suffix
Related formsde·let·a·ble, adjectivere·de·lete, verb (used with object), re·de·let·ed, re·de·let·ing.un·de·let·ed, adjective

Synonyms for delete

Synonym study

See cancel. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for delete

Contemporary Examples of delete

Historical Examples of delete

  • Page 102, middle, delete comma after them; insert comma after nave.

  • “Quit it, delete it, cease it,” Chauncey Delarouse admonished testily.

    The Red One

    Jack London

  • They were to delete him from the category of those who might be taken.

  • Maybe I should just delete it, take temptation out of your way.

    Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow

  • It was curtailed, but delete it as one would, it was still too long.

    The English Stage

    Augustin Filon

British Dictionary definitions for delete



(tr) to remove (something printed or written); erase; cancel; strike out

Word Origin for delete

C17: from Latin dēlēre to destroy, obliterate
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

Word Origin and History for delete

late 15c., "destroy, eradicate," from Latin deletus, past participle of delere "destroy, blot out, efface," from delevi, originally perfective tense of delinere "to daub, erase by smudging" (as of the wax on a writing table), from de- "from, away" (see de-) + linere "to smear, wipe" (see lime (n.1)). In English, specifically of written matter, from c.1600. Related: Deleted; deleting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper