Word of the Day

Sunday, January 30, 2005

extirpate

\EK-stur-payt\ , transitive verb;
1.
To pull up by the stem or root.
2.
To destroy completely.
3.
To remove by surgery.
Quotes:
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
Origin:
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."
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