Definition of raze in US English:



[with object]usually be razed
  • Completely destroy (a building, town, or other site)

    ‘villages were razed to the ground’
    • ‘The old village was razed to the ground, and very quickly the new town of Abbeyleix became established.’
    • ‘Work began to raze the building in February this year.’
    • ‘She slaughtered all Roman inhabitants and razed the town.’
    • ‘Neither our lease nor our budget will allow us to raze our buildings to put in showcase-perfect sustainable materials.’
    • ‘The Israeli army said it razed the buildings because they had been used to fire at its troops and for smuggling arms.’
    • ‘Who would start a restoration project by razing the building to be restored almost to the ground?’
    • ‘As if to exact revenge on being chased back to the desert, the border villages and towns were razed to the ground.’
    • ‘And this week, the Mayfair building was finally razed to the ground.’
    • ‘Temporary facilities have been in place since the former service area building was razed to the ground last October.’
    • ‘If you join, I will have no need to raze your towns and capture your villages.’
    • ‘Military bulldozers yesterday knocked down all the structures in Kadim, and were razing buildings in Ganim.’
    • ‘In 1968, New York City razed the existing buildings and planted grass on the island.’
    • ‘If the charge that he conspired to raze a mosque is valid, there is a great deal to answer for.’
    • ‘Next it was the turn of armoured bulldozers to raze building after building.’
    • ‘Some three hundred buildings were razed with a property loss estimated at three million dollars.’
    • ‘All the Trojan men are killed, the town is razed to the ground and the women are distributed among the occupiers as the spoils of victory.’
    • ‘Troops were razing buildings and killing people as they were encountered.’
    • ‘I will raze the whole building to the ground, if that's what it takes to prove myself.’
    • ‘They talk of ‘carpet bombing’ and razing whole cities to the ground.’
    • ‘A frenzy of hotel building razed old neighbourhoods and transformed city centres.’
    destroy, demolish, raze to the ground, tear down, pull down, knock down, knock to pieces, level, flatten, bulldoze, fell, wipe out, lay waste, ruin, wreck
    View synonyms


Middle English (in the sense ‘scratch, incise’): from Old French raser ‘shave closely’, from Latin ras- ‘scraped’, from the verb radere.