Word of the Day Archive
Monday June 26, 2000
extirpate \EK-stur-payt\ , transitive verb:
1. To pull up by the stem or root.
2. To destroy completely.
3. To remove by surgery.
A plant growing where it shouldn't is a weed. An object for which you have no need or sentimental attachment is garbage. Extirpate the one, toss the other.
-- Philip Kennicott, "The Symphony's Misbegotten 'Moon'", Washington Post, January 14, 2000
There had been no great missionary impulse in the Turkish incursions, no urge to extirpate the old ways.
-- Fouad Ajami, "The Glory Days of the Grand Turk", New York Times, May 2, 1999
If Soviet espionage or capitalist plots against the Soviet Union are malignant growths, it requires a professional to extirpate them by methods as unkind to random bystanders as radiation may be to healthy tissue.
-- Robert Leachman, "Super Thrillers and Super Powers", New York Times, February 19, 1984
Extirpate derives from Latin ex(s)tirpare, "to tear up by the root, hence to root out, to extirpate," from ex-, "from" + stirps, "the stalk or stem or a tree or other plant, with the roots."