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[dras-tik] /ˈdræs tɪk/
acting with force or violence; violent.
extremely severe or extensive:
a drastic tax-reduction measure.
Origin of drastic
1685-95; < Greek drastikós active, equivalent to drast(ós) (verbal adjective of drân to do) + -ikos -ic
Related forms
drastically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for drastic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Nationalist movement neared its most drastic ordeal in 1936.

    Government in Republican China Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger
  • He felt that the time had come for action of a quick and drastic nature.

    The Film of Fear Arnold Fredericks
  • When this prophecy proved to be alarmingly true, a drastic method was adopted to save the Bourbons.

  • drastic improvements in housing, feeding, and sanitation in the towns themselves.

    Another Sheaf John Galsworthy
  • They attempted, therefore, no drastic cutting down of weight.

    The Aeroplane Claude Grahame-White and Harry Harper
British Dictionary definitions for drastic


extreme or forceful; severe
Derived Forms
drastically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Greek drastikos, from dran to do, act
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for drastic

1690s, originally medical, "forceful, vigorous, especially in effect on bowels," from Greek drastikos "effective, efficacious; active, violent," from drasteon "(thing) to be done," from dran "to do, act, perform." Sense of "extreme, severe" is first recorded 1808. Related: Drastically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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