exterminate

[ ik-stur-muh-neyt ]
/ ɪkˈstɜr məˌneɪt /

verb (used with object), ex·ter·mi·nat·ed, ex·ter·mi·nat·ing.

to get rid of by destroying; destroy totally; extirpate: to exterminate an enemy; to exterminate insects.

Origin of exterminate

1535–45; < Latin exterminātus, past participle of extermināre to extermine; see -ate1
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for exterminate

exterminate

/ (ɪkˈstɜːmɪˌneɪt) /

verb

(tr) to destroy (living things, esp pests or vermin) completely; annihilate; eliminate
Derived Formsexterminable, adjectiveextermination, nounexterminative or exterminatory, adjectiveexterminator, noun

Word Origin for exterminate

C16: from Latin extermināre to drive away, from terminus boundary
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 exterminate

exterminate


v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper