Share this entry

Share this page

exterminate

Syllabification: ex·ter·mi·nate
Pronunciation: /ikˈstərməˌnāt
 
/

Definition of exterminate in English:

verb

[with object]
1Destroy completely: after exterminating the entire population, the soldiers set fire to the buildings
More example sentences
  • According to the leadership's orders, bandits were to be exterminated and destroyed.
  • It is an overwhelming fact that so many people could be totally exterminated.
  • Let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request; for we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be massacred and to be exterminated.
Synonyms
kill, put to death, take/end the life of, dispatch;
slaughter, butcher, massacre, wipe out, eliminate, eradicate, annihilate;
informal do away with, bump off, do in, take out, blow away, ice, rub out, waste
1.1Kill (a pest): they use poison to exterminate moles
More example sentences
  • A new act recently passed for hunting and game protection states that hunters are free to exterminate any carnivores they encounter.
  • But a federal campaign to exterminate prairie dogs in 1950s and '60s killed nearly all of the ferrets' prey.
  • Good humans feel no compunction about exterminating inhuman creatures that prey upon the innocent.

Origin

late Middle English (in the sense 'drive out, banish'): from Latin exterminat- 'driven out, banished', from the verb exterminare, from ex- 'out' + terminus 'boundary'. The sense 'destroy' (mid 16th century) comes from the Latin of the Vulgate.

More
  • This is from Latin ‘drive out, banish’, from ex- ‘out’ and terminus ‘boundary’. This was the sense used when the word entered English. The sense ‘destroy’ (mid 16th century) comes from the Latin of the Vulgate Bible.

Derivatives

exterminator

1
Pronunciation: /-ˌnātər/
noun
Example sentences
  • An exterminator slaughtered the bird with a pellet gun as it tried to hide in a corner.
  • And yet she holds no grudge against exterminators.
  • The next hit reality show will be about out-of-work exterminators.

exterminatory

2
Pronunciation: /-nəˌtôrē/
adjective
Example sentences
  • But though Hitler called himself a socialist, and was widely accepted as one, inside and outside Germany, his socialist sources are less well known, though they reached as far as Soviet exterminatory techniques.
  • Longerich is wrong in suggesting that the Nazis' exterminatory policy of Euthanasia from the winter of 1939-40 was some kind of ‘rehearsal’ for the Nazi Final Solution of the Jewish Question.
  • Since 1945, since the Holocaust and the Nazis' exterminatory warfare, German non-Jewish authorship has had to relegitimize, refound itself with every single text.

Words that rhyme with exterminate

germinate, terminate, verminate

Definition of exterminate in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day resilient
Pronunciation: rəˈzilyənt
adjective
able to recoil or spring back into shape…