Definition of remove in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Take (something) away or off from the position occupied.

    ‘Customs officials removed documents from the premises’
    ‘she sat down to remove her make-up’
    • ‘Cook for a further 2-3 minutes, then remove from the heat.’
    • ‘Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse.’
    • ‘Stir until the preserves just start to melt and immediately remove from heat.’
    • ‘Often it's as simple as damp mopping with a solution of ammonia and water and rinsing to remove oils, makeup, or other substances.’
    • ‘When the quills begin to loosen, the bird removes them and is then ready to care for the new feathers.’
    • ‘His remains were removed from his residence to the Church of our Lady Wolfhill.’
    • ‘Some of her hairpins slipped out, and he removed the rest, freeing her shimmering blond locks to tumble down her back.’
    • ‘Finally, make sure to clean brushes and foundation sponges weekly to remove makeup buildup and keep them fresh, soft, and supple.’
    • ‘Picking up the stone, she brushed away the white dust, gently removing any loose rock with her fingers.’
    • ‘Then she removed her hand and sat up, looking at Ryan.’
    • ‘The structure was completely cleaned down and all debris removed from the site.’
    • ‘Cautiously, Elsa untied the ribbon and removed the lid.’
    • ‘Sheer paper face blotters remove oil and leave makeup intact.’
    • ‘You should be able to operate the chair with one hand, removing the tray and positioning your child inside.’
    • ‘Pruning also removes the spent flower heads, which are among the ugliest and untidiest of the plant world.’
    • ‘When the tarte is cooked, carefully remove from the oven, and pour any juices into a small pan.’
    • ‘Alain was in a position to easily remove Howarth's pistol from its holster, unnoticed.’
    • ‘Team members support both of the patient's legs as positioning devices are removed.’
    • ‘Stones are completely removed by open surgery whereas fragments are left behind after minimally invasive therapy.’
    • ‘Fibroids and polyps of the uterus can be easily removed surgically if necessary.’
    detach, unfasten, separate
    take off, undo, unfasten
    take out, produce, bring out, get out, draw out, withdraw, extract, pull out, fish out
    take away, carry away, move, shift, convey, transport
    clean off, wash off, wipe off, rinse off, scrub off, sponge out
    delete, erase, rub out, cross out, strike out, ink out, score out, block out, blue-pencil, cut out, eliminate, efface, obliterate
    uproot, take out, pull out, eradicate, destroy
    cut off, chop off, lop off, hack off, amputate, excise
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Take off (clothing)
      ‘he sat down and quickly removed his shoes and socks’
      • ‘Stone took in a deep breath, but since he didn't have anything to lose except his clothes, he quickly removed his shirt and exposed his chest.’
      • ‘I was pushed behind a screen where I quickly removed my dress and was then put in the tub, the water freezing.’
      • ‘They continued on for a few moments, with roving hands that were trying to remove their clothing as quickly as they possibly could.’
      • ‘She quickly removed her blue jacket and placed it over the wound to try and stop the blood from flowing as quickly.’
      • ‘If helping other people remove their clothing, try to avoid touching any contaminated areas, and remove the clothing as quickly as possible.’
      • ‘Aaron quickly removed his shirt and tied it securely around Brynne's wound.’
      • ‘John quickly removed his clothing and started putting on the apparel set out for him.’
      • ‘To the laughter of those around me, I marched him to the creek and sat down to remove my boots before pulling him into the water.’
      • ‘She quickly removed her black jacket and pressed it against his chest, doing her best to stop the bleeding.’
      • ‘He quickly removed my shirt and his own then paused.’
      • ‘Pearl shivered in her thin, white dress and Vincent quickly removed his jacket and wrapped it around her shoulders.’
      • ‘He quickly removed her dress, shoes, and underclothes.’
      • ‘They removed their backpacks and sat in a small circle.’
      • ‘He brought the chair closer and sat, removing his hat.’
      • ‘Filling my palms with the cool water, I washed my face, then quickly removed my clothing.’
      • ‘His partner nodded, holding his breath, then quickly removed his coat and used the inside of it to wipe his face.’
      • ‘With her free hand she removed her glasses, swiping a hand across her eyes again, but by the time she replaced her glasses, it was too late.’
      • ‘She quickly removed her sweater, ignoring the pain that burned into her scar as the material raced across it.’
      • ‘He quickly removes his suit jacket and places it over her shoulders.’
      • ‘He quickly went inside, removed his shirt and shoes, and looked at the two.’
      take off, pull off, peel off, shrug off, discard, divest oneself of, shed, fling off, fling aside, climb out of, slip out of
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2remove todated no object Change one's home or place of residence by moving to (another place)
      ‘he removed to Mexico and began afresh’
      • ‘The civil service post was resigned and the family removed to the Isle of Man to avoid the punitive tax system of the time.’
      • ‘He became tutor to the children of Sir John Walsh of Old Sodbury, but soon removed to London and the continent, visiting Luther at Wittenberg.’
      • ‘In 1969 he founded The Honest Ulsterman, and in 1990 established the Poets' House at Islandmagee with his third wife, later removing to Falcarragh in the Donegal Gaeltacht.’
      • ‘The following year Gainsborough and his family removed to London, taking residence in Schomberg House, Pall Mall.’
      • ‘He sold up before removing to France after the war.’
      move, move house, move away, go away, relocate, transfer, decamp
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3South African historical Compel (someone) by law to move to another area.
      ‘a man is removed to the tribal district of his forbears’
      • ‘In the 1970s black families, including hers, were removed from Queenstown to Ezibeleni, a new black township nearby.’
      • ‘A former NWFP governor, Lt-Gen I.H. Shah ordered a thriving pheasantry to be removed from Dhodial in District Manshera.’
      • ‘Let there not be a repeat of what has happened in nearby Zimbabwe where thousands of squatters have been forcibly removed from illegal settlements.’
      • ‘We were removed from our traditional lands, forced onto reservations on infertile land so barren we couldn't grow crops or raise livestock.’
  • 2Eliminate or get rid of.

    ‘they removed thousands of needy youngsters from the system’
    ‘the iron can be removed by filtration’
    • ‘The stain upon America can only be removed by withdrawal from Iraq, and making our leaders accountable.’
    • ‘The source of toxins - the bacteria - needs to be removed using antibiotics.’
    • ‘Excess chlorine can be removed by activated carbon filtration.’
    • ‘Eliminating horsemeat removes the associated high costs of transportation and refrigeration.’
    • ‘Small amounts of active charcoal mixed with diatomaceous earth are sometimes used during final filtration in the hope of removing unstable colloids which could potentially form a haze.’
    • ‘After years of struggle, he had finally removed his biggest obstacle.’
    • ‘When Yamato finally came to power, he removed most of the laws passed by his father and grandfather; replacing them with fairer laws.’
    • ‘Its mission is to neutralize key defense positions and remove obstacles.’
    • ‘The solvent was removed by rotary evaporation followed by desiccation under vacuum.’
    • ‘Economic realities have helped to remove the old stigma associated with renting.’
    • ‘It is tempting to say that the feudal-dynastic element had been removed from foreign policy, but there was to be a significant revival of dynastic policy under the Stewarts.’
    • ‘The million organisms of live rock and sand break down the wastes into nitrate, which can then be removed through mechanical filtration.’
    • ‘It is this filtration that removes some of the harsher flavour in the whiskey and the end product is a smoother and mellower taste.’
    • ‘The implementation of this policy would remove risks associated with environmental tobacco smoke.’
    • ‘Once limiting beliefs are discovered you are in a position to remove them.’
    • ‘By 2001, all import quotas will have been removed and licensing largely eliminated.’
    • ‘Insoluble material was then removed by centrifugation.’
    • ‘Yellow Halon fire extinguishers should be removed from homes, farms, boats and caravans.’
    • ‘Shaking the tree removes loose needles and any insects.’
    withdraw, abolish, eliminate, get rid of, do away with, take away, stop, put an end to, cut
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Dismiss from a job or office.
      ‘he was removed from his teaching position’
      • ‘In a trumped-up case in April 1946, he was removed from his position, stripped of his rank, the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.’
      • ‘Those who refuse to listen must be removed from positions of leadership.’
      • ‘He has been removed from his position as an agent of Finsbury Park Mosque.’
      • ‘Back in 2002, he was removed from that position, and he became the interior minister for Syria.’
      • ‘He is being removed from that position, sent back to Washington and we have Admiral Allen, we're told, stepping in to take his place.’
      • ‘He was removed from his teaching position because he refused to agree to an administrative directive not to seek republication of his book.’
      • ‘He writes his employer to say that he wants someone removed from his hiring committee.’
      • ‘Another joint sitting is then convened and if the motion for the removal of the president is supported by not less than two thirds of the combined membership he is removed from office.’
      • ‘The terms under which a student councillor can be removed from the council, because of absenteeism, were clarified.’
      • ‘You do not get prohibition to stop the Minister removing somebody.’
      • ‘By early 1806, he had been removed from his position in disgrace.’
      • ‘There's the stigma that you may be removed from your leadership position.’
      • ‘The plaintiff son had been removed from his position as an employee, manager and officer of the family companies.’
      • ‘So I think Nixon would have been removed from office by the Senate.’
      • ‘He was removed from his post, sent back home - in his own words, ‘deeply and irreparably injured’.’
      • ‘And I don't think it'd be fair to remove him at this point in time.’
      • ‘He, too, was removed from his high position in a key river study by the Corps' top brass.’
      • ‘And this poll was taken during that crucial cabinet meeting that decided it would remove him at some date and time to be specified.’
      • ‘The lords had to do their job well as unsuccessful ones could be removed from their position.’
      • ‘In September 1968 he was removed from all his posts and expelled from the Communist Party.’
      dismiss, discharge, get rid of, dislodge, displace, throw out, evict, eject, expel, oust, purge, unseat, depose, topple, supplant
      View synonyms
  • 3be removedBe distant from.

    ‘it is an isolated place, far removed from the London art world’
    • ‘Nothing could be further removed from the ritual formalities of the continent, or the grimly murderous processes of trapping, gassing, poisoning or shooting.’
    • ‘For a century photography has been an important means of developing our empathy for people whose lives or situations are far removed from our own.’
    • ‘The warning about a possible humanitarian crisis and the great responsibility placed upon the leadership was something removed from military conventional logic.’
    • ‘The problem is that his conclusions are so far removed from reality, it's almost comical.’
    • ‘But this is a different issue, removed from the philosophical questions you are asking.’
    • ‘I think this is very far removed from political reality.’
    • ‘There still exists a very strong conception of islands as places that are different, removed from ‘modern civilisation’.’
    • ‘Once again, it could have sprung from a different era, far removed from the niche that he helped to create.’
    distant, remote, disconnected, different
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 Be very different from.
      ‘an explanation that is far removed from the truth’
      • ‘Thursday's elections have proved how far removed from reality the perceptions of the Blair leadership really are.’
      • ‘She was famous for portraying naïvety and innocence on stage, qualities far removed from her real-life personality.’
      • ‘Most will enter civilian life in the coming years with experience of leadership, sound administration and a style of living far removed from that in contemporary Britain.’
      • ‘It was so far removed from my character in Ripley and the beaches of southern Italy.’
      • ‘I like to think of myself as quite moral but then again my definition of morality is far removed from a lot of other people's.’
      • ‘The life of a Romanian street child could not be more removed from that of a teenager growing up in Whitworth.’
      distant, remote, disconnected, different
      View synonyms
  • 4as adjective removedSeparated by a particular number of steps of descent.

    ‘his second cousin once removed’


  • A degree of remoteness or separation.

    ‘at this remove, the whole incident seems insane’
    • ‘This seems a far remove from the ‘Your country needs you’ call to arms which galvanised Western nations in the past.’
    • ‘The adaptation sensibly goes against this telescoping technique that, like a Chinese box effect, keeps the story and characters at several removes from the reader.’
    • ‘Scenes like this, directed at a remove, give this film a random, almost post-apocalyptic feel.’
    • ‘The genuine contents are at several removes from the ‘suspenseful action.’’
    • ‘In their quest for pure sensation, presumably the media exists in a reality at too many removes from their immediate actions - or maybe they're just too cool to care.’
    • ‘Palmer's abstraction is in illustration of very private experience, not a wordsmith tinkering at several removes from experience.’
    • ‘North is the farthest remove from home, a place where Frankenstein's monster wanders mournfully, distant from all the known safe world.’
    • ‘Echoes of scripture, which abound in Map's text, provide examples of echoes at a considerable remove from the original.’
    • ‘Such staging lends itself to spectacle and a histrionic acting style, since, at such a remove, characters need to be larger than life in order to communicate with the audience.’
    • ‘This restoration placed the Lazaretto at a far remove from its origins, a disappointing decision in view of the small number of famine artifacts on the island.’
    • ‘Like Theo, I participate in the mourning of the American repertory circuit from somewhat of a remove.’
    • ‘Thus, these operas, while clearly relating to Shakespeare's works on one level, are often at many different removes from their sources.’
    • ‘Black and white films, with their obvious remove from everyday life, achieve this psychological distance more readily than those shot in color.’
    • ‘I was at a huge remove from any of the Troubles - they didn't impact on my life other than on the television news.’
    • ‘Thus Diogenes' material often comes to us at several removes from the original.’
    • ‘The cultural remove between medical colonizers and the medically colonized is even starker than elsewhere.’
    • ‘Much of the information one gets is at best several removes from the original.’
    • ‘If El Greco painted at a remove from reality, using figurines as models, that was because he opted to do so.’
    • ‘It is interesting that she has attributed the lines to Euripides even though she has presumably obtained them from a source at several removes from the original.’
    • ‘The problem becomes that the actual spirit of giving to those less fortunate is placed at a remove.’
    distance, space of time, interval
    View synonyms


Middle English (as a verb): from the Old French stem remov-, from Latin removere, from re- ‘back’ + movere ‘to move’.