verb (used with object), e·rased, e·ras·ing.

  1. to rub or scrape out, as letters or characters written, engraved, etc.; efface.
  2. to eliminate completely: She couldn’t erase the tragic scene from her memory.
  3. to obliterate (material recorded on magnetic tape or a magnetic disk): She erased the message.
  4. to obliterate recorded material from (a magnetic tape or disk): He accidentally erased the tape.
  5. Computers. to remove (data) from computer storage.
  6. Slang. to murder: The gang had to erase him before he informed on them.

verb (used without object), e·rased, e·ras·ing.

  1. to give way to effacement readily or easily.
  2. to obliterate characters, letters, markings, etc., from something.


  1. to obliterate or rub out (something written, typed, etc)
  2. (tr) to destroy all traces of; remove completelytime erases grief
  3. to remove (a recording) from (magnetic tape)
  4. (tr) computing to replace (data) on a storage device with characters representing an absence of data

v.c.1600, from Latin erasus, past participle of eradere “scrape out, scrape off, shave,” from ex- “out” (see ex-) + radere “to scrape” (see raze). Of magnetic tape, from 1945. Related: Erased; erasing.

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