When you ablate something, you wear it away by rubbing or some other method. In medicine, doctors sometimes need to ablate a patient's skin to help it heal.

The verb ablate is often used in many different sciences — in each case, it has a slightly different sense, although its basic meaning is always to erode or otherwise wear away a substance. One way for physicians to treat heart disease is to ablate the inside of an artery using a tiny drill-like tool, and geologists study the way processes like evaporation and erosion can ablate — or remove the surface of — a glacier. The Latin root word is ablationem, "a taking away."

Definitions of ablate
  1. verb
    wear away through erosion or vaporization
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    type of:
    wear, wear down, wear off, wear out, wear thin
    deteriorate through use or stress
  2. verb
    remove an organ or bodily structure
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    type of:
    remove, take, take away, withdraw
    remove something concrete, as by lifting, pushing, or taking off, or remove something abstract
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