Definition of root something out in US English:

root something out

phrasal verb

  • 1Dig or pull up a plant by the roots.

    • ‘He was told to root the plants out immediately.’
    • ‘If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day… fifty the day after that… and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions.’
    uproot, tear something up by the roots, pull something up, grub something out
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    1. 1.1 Find and get rid of someone or something regarded as pernicious or dangerous.
      ‘a campaign to root out corruption’
      • ‘After decades of struggle by activists the government finally accepted that institutional racism exists and promised that it would root it out of public bodies.’
      • ‘In line with this policy, they handed her over to be tried as a witch by a combination of a Church Court and the Holy Roman Inquisition, set up to maintain the absolute divine authority of the Church by rooting out all heresy.’
      • ‘The local authorities have to do the main job of finding these gangs and rooting them out.’
      • ‘With frightening swiftness, nearly all enemy agents inside Confederation borders were rooted out, systematically hunted down, and then eliminated.’
      • ‘One-in-three claiming to have been hit by untraced drivers drop their claims upon investigation by the bureau - 400 dodgy claims are rooted out in the initial stages of investigation every year.’
      • ‘He urged the taxi industry to forge close links with the police so that these elements could be rooted out once and for all.’
      • ‘If he doesn't present himself, we're going to root him out, and we'll defeat him in kind that way.’
      • ‘If there are anti-competitive practices in the professions which are hurting consumers and damaging our economy then we must identify them and root them out.’
      • ‘There were pockets of corruption, but our efforts to root it out are beginning to yield results.’
      • ‘Our goal is to help our readers recognize this aberrant species of leader, effectively deal with them, and then hopefully root them out of the workplace.’
      • ‘Until they can be rooted out, hopes for lasting peace will have hardly advanced at all.’
      • ‘He once said, ‘The country will see no hope if regional grudges are not rooted out.’’
      • ‘But the breadth of corruption makes the challenge of rooting it out more difficult.’
      • ‘The sooner they are rooted out and dealt with the sooner we may be able to curtail what is now a worrying trend.’
      • ‘Rome abhorred the practice and rooted it out when encountered among others, although when writing of the Druidic rituals of the Celts and the taking of heads for trophies they probably exaggerated for propaganda purposes.’
      • ‘A whole rethink and development of policies which will put the nation on the road to economic recovery is necessary, so that poverty can be rooted out.’
      • ‘Basically, the government should get tougher with those who send such e-mails for their own profits and a national campaign should be launched until the evil practice is rooted out.’
      • ‘We can all do our part to defend against them and to root them out.’
      • ‘Typos appear in virtually every book, and it's up to the proofreaders and typesetters to root them out.’
      • ‘We will either root it out and extinguish it wherever it may hide, or it will find us and strip us of our safety, happiness and everything we cherish.’
      eradicate, get rid of, eliminate, weed out, remove, destroy, put an end to, do away with, wipe out, stamp out, extirpate, abolish, extinguish
      unearth, dig up, dig out, turn up, bring to light, uncover, discover, dredge up, ferret out, hunt out, nose out, expose
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