V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. to annihilate or destroy something totally; 2. to hide or cover up writing so that it cannot be seen

Synonyms: destroy, annihilate, expunge, exterminate, extirpate, erase

Antonyms: create, construct, restore

Tips: Obliterate comes from obliterare, "to blot out; erase." For the definition of "complete destruction," think of something being completely erased from the planet. Obliterate and annihilate are synonymous. To obliterate is to destroy to the point that nothing is left. To annihilate is to destroy to the point that something no longer exists. A bomb can obliterate a town so that nothing of the town exists anymore, while a disease can annihilate the habitants of a town--kills everyone so they no longer exist. Annihilate can also refer to defeating someone convincingly and easily, while obliterate can also refer to erasing something or obscuring something.

Usage Examples:

The opposing army was completely obliterated by the new weapon. (destroyed)

They tried to obliterate the graffiti left by the vandals, using a fresh coat of paint. (erase, expunge)

Cancer researchers hope to someday obliterate the dreaded disease. (destroy, annihilate)

The usually beautiful view of the Golden Gate bridge was obliterated by fog this morning. (erased, obscured)

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