View synonyms for expunction


[ ik-spuhngk-shuhn ]


  1. the act of expunging; erasure.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of expunction1

1600–10; < Late Latin expūnctiōn- (stem of expūnctiō ) a blotting out, equivalent to Latin expūnct ( us ) blotted out (past participle of expungere to expunge ) + -iōn- -ion

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Example Sentences

Capell suggests that the lines he retains 'were second thoughts of the poet, and their original was meant for expunction.'

The scribe at first wrote wyerldes, but the l is marked for expunction.


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More About Expunction

What does expunction mean?

Expunction is the act or process of expunging something—erasing, deleting, crossing out, or destroying it.

Expunction is especially used in the context of law, in which it refers to the removal of an arrest or conviction from a person’s public criminal record.

Expunction can also be called expungement.

Example: Many criminal justice reform advocates support the law, which would allow for the expunction of some misdemeanors from criminal records.

Where does expunction come from?

The first records of the word expunction come from right around 1600. It ultimately derives from the Latin verb expungere, which means “to blot out” or “to erase.” The word expungere is a combination of ex-, meaning “out,” and pungere, “to prick.” It originally referred to how scribes marked a word in a manuscript for deletion.

The word expunction is strongly associated with the practice of removing an arrest or conviction from a person’s permanent record. In some jurisdictions, an arrest may be expunged from a person’s record if they are not convicted. In some cases, the expunction of a conviction from a person’s record can be done after a certain amount of time has passed after their sentence is completed. The expunction of such records means they will not be seen during employer background checks, for example (though a private record may still exist in law enforcement files). For people who have served their sentence, this gives them a better chance at overcoming some of the many obstacles that often prevent them from gaining employment, finding housing, and fully participating in other parts of life.

Expunction is most often used in the context of criminal records, but it can also be used generally. Still, it is often used in reference to the erasure or removal of negative things, such as expunction of events from history or the expunction of a bad experience from one’s memory.

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How is expunction used in real life?

Expunction is most commonly used in the context of law and criminal records. It is usually used formally.



Try using expunction!

Is expunction used correctly in the following sentence?

The expunction of such events from the historical record deprives future generations of the truth about what really happened.