Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To remove (something written, for example) by rubbing, wiping, or scraping.
  • transitive v. To remove (recorded material) from a magnetic tape or other storage medium: erased a file from the diskette.
  • transitive v. To remove recorded material from (a magnetic tape or disk, for example): erased the videocassette.
  • transitive v. To remove all traces of.
  • transitive v. To remove or destroy as if by wiping out: had to erase all thoughts of failure from his mind.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to remove markings or information
  • v. To obliterate information from (a storage medium), such as to clear or (with magnetic storage) to demagnetize.
  • v. To obliterate (information) from a storage medium, such as to clear or to overwrite.
  • v. To remove a runner from the bases via a double play or pick off play
  • v. To be erased (have markings removed, have information removed, or be cleared of information).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To rub or scrape out, as letters or characters written, engraved, or painted; to efface; to expunge; to cross out.
  • transitive v. Fig.: To obliterate; to expunge; to blot out; -- used of ideas in the mind or memory.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To rub or scrape out, as letters or characters written, engraved, or painted; efface; blot or strike out; obliterate; expunge: as, to erase a word or a name.
  • Hence To remove or destroy, as if by rubbing or blotting out.
  • To destroy to the foundation; raze.
  • Synonyms Cancel, Obliterate, etc. (see efface); wipe out, rub off, remove.
  • In entomology, sinuate, with the sinuses cut into smaller irregular notches: applied especially to the wings of certain Lepidoptera.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. wipe out digitally or magnetically recorded information
  • v. remove by or as if by rubbing or erasing
  • v. remove from memory or existence

Etymologies

Latin ērādere, ērās-, to scratch out : ē-, ex-, ex- + rādere, to scrape.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin erasus, past participle of eradere ("to scrape, to abrade"), from ex- ("out of") + radere ("to scrape") (Wiktionary)

Examples

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