obliterate (v.)

"blot out, cause to disappear, remove all traces of, wipe out," c. 1600, from Latin obliteratus, past participle of obliterare "cause to disappear, blot out (a writing), erase, efface," figuratively "cause to be forgotten, blot out a remembrance," from ob "against" (see ob-) + littera (also litera) "letter, script" (see letter (n.)). The verb was abstracted from the phrase literas scribere "write across letters, strike out letters." Related: Obliterated; obliterating.

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