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erase

[ih-reys]
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verb (used with object), e·rased, e·ras·ing.
  1. to rub or scrape out, as letters or characters written, engraved, etc.; efface.
  2. to eliminate completely: She couldn't erase the tragic scene from her memory.
  3. to obliterate (material recorded on magnetic tape or a magnetic disk): She erased the message.
  4. to obliterate recorded material from (a magnetic tape or disk): He accidentally erased the tape.
  5. Computers. to remove (data) from computer storage.
  6. Slang. to murder: The gang had to erase him before he informed on them.
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verb (used without object), e·rased, e·ras·ing.
  1. to give way to effacement readily or easily.
  2. to obliterate characters, letters, markings, etc., from something.
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Origin of erase

1595–1605; < Latin ērāsus (past participle of ērādere), equivalent to ē- e-1 + rāsus scraped; see raze
Related formse·ras·a·bil·i·ty, noune·ras·a·ble, adjectivehalf-e·rased, adjectivenon·e·ras·a·ble, adjectiveun·e·ras·a·ble, adjectiveun·e·rased, adjectiveun·e·ras·ing, adjective
Can be confusederasable irascible

Synonyms

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1. expunge, obliterate.

Synonym study

1. See cancel.

Antonyms

1, 3. restore.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for erase

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I find she quite ignores it, if she has sums to do, or blots to erase.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • And first of all, erase from it all that you have heard me say in the council-room.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • He could not erase errors, or paint them over, as an artist does.

    The Mystery of Murray Davenport

    Robert Neilson Stephens

  • Hence we erase all optional marks in the 1st and 3rd rows, but let them stand in the 2nd.

    A Tangled Tale

    Lewis Carroll

  • And if he depart, let him erase all the entries which have been made by him in the register kept by the magistrates.

    Laws

    Plato


British Dictionary definitions for erase

erase

verb
  1. to obliterate or rub out (something written, typed, etc)
  2. (tr) to destroy all traces of; remove completelytime erases grief
  3. to remove (a recording) from (magnetic tape)
  4. (tr) computing to replace (data) on a storage device with characters representing an absence of data
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Derived Formserasable, adjective

Word Origin

C17: from Latin ērādere to scrape off, from ex- 1 + rādere to scratch, scrape
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 erase

v.

c.1600, from Latin erasus, past participle of eradere "scrape out, scrape off, shave," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + radere "to scrape" (see raze). Of magnetic tape, from 1945. Related: Erased; erasing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper