When you erase something, you eliminate or delete it, often by physically wiping it out. It's easy to erase chalk from a blackboard, but not so easy to erase graffiti from the side of a building.

There are several ways to erase: you can erase a pencil mark with an eraser; you can digitally erase information on your computer or recording device; and you can figuratively erase something by removing all evidence of it. Peaceful people hope to erase war from the earth, for example — to take away every last trace of it. The Latin root eradere means "scrape out."

Definitions of erase

v remove by or as if by rubbing or erasing

“Please erase the formula on the blackboard--it is wrong!”
efface, rub out, score out, wipe off
erase with a sponge; as of words on a blackboard
cut out, scratch out
strike or cancel by or as if by rubbing or crossing out
Type of:
cancel, delete
remove or make invisible

v wipe out digitally or magnetically recorded information

“Who erased the files form my hard disk?”
record, tape
register electronically
demagnetise, demagnetize
erase (a magnetic storage device)
Type of:
take away, take out
take out or remove

v remove from memory or existence

“The Turks erased the Armenians in 1915”
wipe out
Type of:
cause to die; put to death, usually intentionally or knowingly

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.