Printable Version
Pronunciation: ê-ræd-ê-kayt Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: 1. Destroy completely, eliminate, extirpate. 2. Pull up by the roots, root out.

Notes: This word comes with a large family of lexical derivations. The action noun is eradication and we have two adjectives, eradicative and a lesser used eradicatory. Someone who eradicates something is an eradicator, spelled with an -or rather than -er, like most words borrowed directly from Latin.

In Play: Today's Good Word is used more often in the sense of "to destroy": "Self-confidence eradicates cowardice, destroys doubt, fills you with vitality and lets you do the impossible." However, the original Latin sense is still available: "Rose Gardner eradicated all the weeds from her flower bed by hand."

Word History: In Middle English today's word was eradicaten, borrowed directly (not via French) from Latin eradicatus, the past participle of eradicare "to root out, eradicate", comprising ex- "out, away from" + radix (radic-s) "root". Latin inherited radix from Proto-Indo-European (PIE) wrad- "root, branch". English borrowed root from Old Norse (Viking speak), which inherited it from a Germanic version of the same PIE word. The English reflex of the same Germanic version was wort, the plant, and radish, the root of a plant. German Wurzel "root" was also a gift from Proto-Indo-European.

Dr. Goodword,

P.S. - Register for the Daily Good Word E-Mail! - You can get our daily Good Word sent directly to you via e-mail in either HTML or Text format. Go to our Registration Page to sign up today!