Etymology
Advertisement

expunge (v.)

"to mark or blot out as with a pen, erase (words), obliterate," c. 1600, from Latin expungere "prick out, blot out, mark (a name on a list) for deletion" by pricking dots above or below it, literally "prick out," from ex "out" (see ex-) + pungere "to prick, pierce" (from suffixed form of PIE root *peuk- "to prick").

According to OED, taken by early lexicographers in English to "denote actual obliteration by pricking;" it adds that the sense probably was influenced by sponge (v.). Related: Expunged; expunging; expungible. In U.S. history, the Expunging Resolution was adopted by the Senate in 1837 to expunge from its journal a resolution passed by it in 1834 censuring President Jackson.

updated on April 28, 2020

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of expunge from WordNet

expunge (v.)
remove by erasing or crossing out or as if by drawing a line;
Synonyms: strike / scratch / excise
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.