Raze means to tear an object down to the ground. Before a real estate developer can raze a family's home to build another skyscraper, he's going to have to cut them a big check.
Raze is most often used to refer to knocking buildings down for construction projects, but it can also describe tearing down other objects. You can raze the sand dunes in order to make the beach perfectly flat. Raze comes from the word rasen, meaning "to scrape or erase," and it sounds similar to the word erase, which can help you remember its meaning. If you raze something, in a way it has been erased — it no longer exists in its previous form.