To completely destroy or erase something so that it no longer exists or is recognizable.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Erase, annihilate, demolish, decimate, eradicate, exterminate, expunge, wipe out


Preserve, protect, conserve, maintain, uphold

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun obliteration, obliterations, obliterator, obliterators
Verb obliterate, obliterated, obliterates, obliterating
Adjective obliterate, obliterable
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The hurricane obliterated the coastal town, leaving behind only rubble and debris.

  • The company’s reputation was obliterated by the scandal, and it struggled to regain trust from its customers.

  • The dictator sought to obliterate any opposition to his regime through violent means.

  • The computer virus infected and obliterated all of the important files on the hard drive.


The verb “obliterate” is used to describe the complete and utter destruction or erasure of something. It is often used in the context of physical destruction, such as the obliteration of a city by a natural disaster, or the obliteration of a building by a bomb. However, it can also refer to the complete erasure of something abstract, such as a person’s reputation or a company’s brand.

The word “obliterate” comes from the Latin word “obliterare,” which means “to erase.” The prefix “ob-” means “completely,” while the root “litera” means “letter.” This gives the word a sense of complete erasure or destruction of written or printed words.

In everyday usage, “obliterate” is often used to emphasize the complete and irreversible nature of something. For example, one might say “the hurricane obliterated the town” rather than simply “the hurricane destroyed the town,” to emphasize the extent of the damage. It can also be used in a figurative sense, such as “the embarrassing photos on social media completely obliterated her chances of getting the job.”

Overall, “obliterate” is a strong and vivid word that conveys a sense of complete and irreversible destruction or erasure. It is often used to emphasize the extent of damage or loss, and is useful for creating dramatic or impactful statements.