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verb (used with object), ob·lit·er·at·ed, ob·lit·er·at·ing.
  1. to remove or destroy all traces of; do away with; destroy completely.
  2. to blot out or render undecipherable (writing, marks, etc.); efface.

Origin of obliterate

1590–1600; < Latin oblitterātus (past participle of oblitterāre, efface, cause to be forgotten), equivalent to ob- ob- + litter(a) letter1 + -ātus -ate1
Related formsob·lit·er·a·ble [uh-blit-er-uh-buhl] /əˈblɪt ər ə bəl/, adjectiveo·blit·er·a·tor, nounhalf-ob·lit·er·at·ed, adjectiveun·ob·lit·er·at·ed, adjective

Synonyms for obliterate

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2. expunge.

Synonym study

2. See cancel.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for obliterated

destroyed, removed, annihilated

Examples from the Web for obliterated

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Historical Examples of obliterated

British Dictionary definitions for obliterated


  1. (tr) to destroy every trace of; wipe out completely
Derived Formsobliteration, nounobliterative, adjectiveobliterator, noun

Word Origin for obliterate

C16: from Latin oblitterāre to erase, from ob- out + littera letter
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 obliterated



c.1600, from Latin obliteratus, past participle of obliterare "cause to disappear, blot out, erase, efface," figuratively "cause to be forgotten," from ob "against" (see ob-) + littera (also litera) "letter, script" (see letter (n.)); abstracted from phrase literas scribere "write across letters, strike out letters." Related: Obliterated; obliterating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

obliterated in Medicine


[ə-blĭtə-rāt′, ō-blĭt-]
  1. To remove an organ or another body part completely, as by surgery, disease, or radiation.
  2. To blot out, especially through filling of a natural space by fibrosis or inflammation.
Related formso•blit′er•ation n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.