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From Latin exstirpō (uproot), from ex- (out of) +‎ stirps (the lower part of the trunk of a tree, including the roots; the stem, stalk).



extirpate (third-person singular simple present extirpates, present participle extirpating, simple past and past participle extirpated)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To clear an area of roots and stumps.
  2. (transitive) To pull up by the roots; uproot.
    Synonyms: uproot, eradicate, extricate, deracinate
  3. (transitive) To destroy completely; to annihilate,
    Synonyms: annihilate, destroy, eradicate, exterminate; see also Thesaurus:destroy
    • 1758, Epictetus, translated by Elizabeth Carter, All the Works of Epictetus Which are Now Extant; Consisting of His Discourses, Preserved by Arrian, in Four Books, the Enchiridion, and Fragments[1], The Discourses of Epictetus, book II, chapter XVI, page 172:
      But you are not Hercules; nor able to extirpate the Evils of others: nor even Theſeus, to extirpate the Evils of Attica. Extirpate your own then.
    • 1870, M[ary] F[rances] Cusack, chapter XIX, in The Student's Manual of Irish History[2], London: Longmans, Green, and Co., →OCLC, page 309:
      The simple object was to expel the natives, and to extirpate the Catholic religion.
    • 2022 February 23, Benedict le Vay, “Part of rail's past... present... and future”, in RAIL, number 951, page 56:
      They [steam trains] are everything modern life tries to extirpate in favour of silence, smoothness and cleanness.
  4. (biology) To cause to go extinct locally within a population, but not within a species or subspecies.
    The cougar was extirpated across nearly all of its eastern North American range in the two centuries after European colonization.
  5. (transitive) To surgically remove.
    Synonym: excise

Related terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]




  1. second-person plural present active imperative of extirpō




  1. second-person singular voseo imperative of extirpar combined with te