[ ik-stur-muh-neyt ]
See synonyms for: exterminateexterminatedexterminatesextermination on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),ex·ter·mi·nat·ed, ex·ter·mi·nat·ing.
  1. 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

Other words for exterminate

Other words from exterminate

  • ex·ter·mi·na·ble [ik-stur-muh-nuh-buhl], /ɪkˈstɜr mə nə bəl/, adjective
  • ex·ter·mi·na·tion, noun
  • non·ex·ter·mi·na·tion, noun
  • self-ex·ter·mi·na·tion, noun
  • un·ex·ter·mi·na·ble, adjective
  • un·ex·ter·mi·nat·ed, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use exterminate in a sentence

  • He carried this war of extermination up to Ilocos, where, little by little, his forces deserted him.

    The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
  • He prohibited the assemblies in the cemeteries, and reiterated the edict of extermination against the Christians.

    The Catacombs of Rome | William Henry Withrow
  • Non licet esse vos—It is not lawful for you to exist—was the stern edict of extermination pronounced against the saints.

    The Catacombs of Rome | William Henry Withrow
  • Their present restriction and partial extermination have been due to the incursions of the warlike Malays.

    Man And His Ancestor | Charles Morris
  • But their attacks angered the superior ones, and they began a campaign of extermination against the insect men's empire.

    Valley of the Croen | Lee Tarbell

British Dictionary definitions for exterminate


/ (ɪkˈstɜːmɪˌneɪt) /

  1. (tr) to destroy (living things, esp pests or vermin) completely; annihilate; eliminate

Origin of exterminate

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

Derived forms of exterminate

  • exterminable, adjective
  • extermination, noun
  • exterminative or exterminatory, adjective
  • exterminator, noun

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