transitive verb (-nated; -nating) Etymology: Latin exterminatus, past participle of exterminare, from ex- + terminus boundary — more at term Date: 1591 to get rid of completely usually by killing off <
exterminate termites and cockroaches
extermination nounexterminator noun Synonyms: exterminate, extirpate, eradicate, uproot mean to effect the destruction or abolition of something. exterminate implies complete and immediate extinction by killing off all individuals <
exterminate cockroaches
. extirpate implies extinction of a race, family, species, or sometimes an idea or doctrine by destruction or removal of its means of propagation <
many species have been extirpated from the area
. eradicate implies the driving out or elimination of something that has established itself <
a campaign to eradicate illiteracy
. uproot implies a forcible or violent removal and stresses displacement or dislodgment rather than immediate destruction <
the war uprooted thousands

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Exterminate — Ex*ter mi*nate, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Exterminated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Exterminating}.] [L. exterminatus, p. p. of exterminare to abolish, destroy, drive out or away; ex out + terminus boundary, limit. See {Term}.] 1. To drive out or away; to expel …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • exterminate — exterminate, extirpate, eradicate, uproot, deracinate, wipe are comparable when they mean to effect the destruction or abolition of something. Exterminate implies utter extinction; it therefore usually implies a killing off {efforts to… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • exterminate — [ek stʉr′mə nāt΄, ikstʉr′mə nāt΄] vt. exterminated, exterminating [< L exterminatus, pp. of exterminare, lit., to drive beyond the boundaries, hence drive out, destroy < ex , out + terminus, boundary: see TERM1] to destroy or get rid of… …   English World dictionary

  • exterminate — index abate (extinguish), abolish, annul, cancel, destroy (efface), dispatch (put to death) …   Law dictionary

  • exterminate — (v.) 1540s, drive away, from L. exterminatus, pp. of exterminare drive out, expel, drive beyond boundaries, also, in L.L. destroy, from phrase ex termine beyond the boundary, from ex out of (see EX (Cf. ex )) + termine, abl. of termen boundary,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • exterminate — [v] kill abolish, annihilate, blot out*, decimate, destroy, do away with*, eliminate, eradicate, erase, execute, extinguish, extirpate, finish off, massacre, obliterate, put an end to*, rub out*, send to kingdom come*, slaughter, stamp out*, wipe …   New thesaurus

  • exterminate — ► VERB ▪ destroy completely; eradicate. DERIVATIVES extermination noun exterminator noun exterminatory adjective. ORIGIN originally in the sense «drive out»: from Latin exterminare, from terminus boundary …   English terms dictionary

  • exterminate — exterminable /ik sterr meuh neuh beuhl/, adj. extermination, n. /ik sterr meuh nayt /, v.t., exterminated, exterminating. to get rid of by destroying; destroy totally; extirpate: to exterminate an enemy; to exterminate insects. [1535 45; < L… …   Universalium

  • exterminate — verb /ikˈstɜrmɪˌneɪt/ a) To kill all of a population, usually deliberate and especially applied to pests. Well use poison to exterminate the rats. b) To bring a definite end to, finish completely. A rather strong word that implies that what has… …   Wiktionary

  • exterminate — [[t]ɪkstɜ͟ː(r)mɪneɪt[/t]] exterminates, exterminating, exterminated VERB To exterminate a group of people or animals means to kill all of them. [V n] A huge effort was made to exterminate the rats... [V n] They have a real fear that they ll be… …   English dictionary