Word of the Day Archive
Friday August 10, 2001
deracinate \dee-RAS-uh-nayt\ , transitive verb:
1. To pluck up by the roots; to uproot.
2. To displace from one's native or accustomed environment.
In the People's Republic, communism's utilitarian bent first poisoned the culinary arts and then, in the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, tried to deracinate what were regarded as the insidious strains of China's former culture.
-- Benjamin and Christina Schwarz, "Going All Out for Chinese", The Atlantic, January 1999
He was a Jew who was never given a chance to belong anywhere, a deracinated intellectual.
-- David Cesarani, Arthur Koestler: The Homeless Mind
Deracinate comes from Middle French desraciner, from des-, "from" (from Latin de-) + racine, "root" (from Late Latin radicina, from Latin radix, radic-). The noun form is deracination.