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verb (used with object), re·moved, re·mov·ing.
  1. to move from a place or position; take away or off: to remove the napkins from the table.
  2. to take off or shed (an article of clothing): to remove one's jacket.
  3. to move or shift to another place or position; transfer: She removed the painting to another wall.
  4. to put out; send away: to remove a tenant.
  5. to dismiss or force from a position or office; discharge: They removed him for embezzling.
  6. to take away, withdraw, or eliminate: to remove the threat of danger.
  7. to get rid of; do away with; put an end to: to remove a stain; to remove the source of disease.
  8. to kill; assassinate.
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verb (used without object), re·moved, re·mov·ing.
  1. to move from one place to another, especially to another locality or residence: We remove to Newport early in July.
  2. to go away; depart; disappear.
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  1. the act of removing.
  2. a removal from one place, as of residence, to another.
  3. the distance by which one person, place, or thing is separated from another: to see something at a remove.
  4. a mental distance from the reality of something as a result of psychological detachment or lack of experience: to criticize something at a remove.
  5. a degree of difference, as that due to descent, transmission, etc.: a folk survival, at many removes, of a druidic rite.
  6. a step or degree, as in a graded scale.
  7. British. a promotion of a pupil to a higher class or division at school.
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Origin of remove

1250–1300; Middle English removen (v.) < Old French remouvoir < Latin removēre. See re-, move
Related formspre·re·move, verb (used with object), pre·re·moved, pre·re·mov·ing.


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1. leave. 9. remain.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for remove


verb (mainly tr)
  1. to take away and place elsewhere
  2. to displace (someone) from office; dismiss
  3. to do away with (a grievance, cause of anxiety, etc); abolish
  4. to cause (dirt, stains, or anything unwanted) to disappear; get rid of
  5. euphemistic to assassinate; kill
  6. (intr) formal to change the location of one's home or place of businessthe publishers have removed to Mayfair
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  1. the act of removing, esp (formal) a removal of one's residence or place of work
  2. the degree of difference separating one person, thing, or condition from anotheronly one remove from madness
  3. British (in certain schools) a class or form, esp one for children of about 14 years, designed to introduce them to the greater responsibilities of a more senior position in the school
  4. (at a formal dinner, formerly) a dish to be changed while the rest of the course remains on the table
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Derived Formsremovable, adjectiveremovability or removableness, nounremovably, adverbremover, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Old French removoir, from Latin removēre; see move
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 remove


early 14c., "move, take away, dismiss," from Old French removoir "move, stir; leave, depart; take away," from Latin removere "move back or away, take away, put out of view, subtract," from re- "back, away" (see re-) + movere "to move" (see move (v.)). Related: Removed; removing.

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1550s, "act of removing," from remove (v.). Sense of "distance or space by which any thing is removed from another" is attested from 1620s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper