See also: Delete



From Latin dēlētus, past participle of dēlēre (destroy, blot out, efface), from dēlēvī, originally perf. tense of dēlinere (to daub, erase by smudging), from dē- (from, away) + linere (to smear, wipe). Original sense first appears c. 1495. Computing sense, including the noun form, first appears c. 1977 in Software: Practice & Experience.


  • IPA(key): /dɪˈliːt/, /diˈliːt/, /dəˈliːt/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: de‧lete
  • Rhymes: -iːt


delete (third-person singular simple present deletes, present participle deleting, simple past and past participle deleted)

  1. (transitive) To remove, get rid of or erase, especially written or printed material, or data on a computer or other device. [from 1600s]
    Synonyms: erase, clear, strike, terminate, remove; see also Thesaurus:delete
    Antonyms: insert, maintain
  2. (online gaming, slang) To defeat or dominate.
    • 2020 November 20, “Enhance Arena positioning”, in Blizzard Forums (US)[1]:
      Also I got deleted by a rogue and druid who were both invisible and just popped up and cleaned me.
  3. (transitive, slang) To kill or murder.
    • 2008, Ted Bell, Assassin:
      "Go find this guy, Alex," Conch had said. "And delete him."
    • 2013, Tim Corkery, Funny to Horror: Short Stories:
      " [] The less we discover about him, the more we are convinced he needs to be deleted..."
      "Yes. In other words I kill a terrorist, right?"
    • 2015, Shane Kuhn, The Intern's Handbook, page 220:
      I'm a forty-something psychopath who thinks he has the right to delete anyone he sees fit.
    • 2017, Bill Dixon, Dragonfire: A New World of Poems and Stories:
      She either felt pity for him and put him out of pain, a ridiculous, untrue solution for pity and sorrow are delusions, or she was part of his triangle had to delete him before he spoke again, he had to be silenced.

Derived terms

Related terms


  • Portuguese: deletar, delete



delete (plural deletes)

  1. (computing) A deletion.
    • 2003, Jeffrey P. McManus, Jackie Goldstein, Kevin T. Price, Database Access with Visual Basic .NET, page 30:
      Cascading updates and cascading deletes are useful features of the SQL Server database engine.
  2. (recorded entertainment industry) A remainder of a music or video release.
    • 1977 October 29, Billboard[2], volume 89, number 43, page 57:
      One CRIA official pegs the total record sales of deletes and imports as high as 30 percent for 1976
    • 1984 December 1, Billboard[3], volume 96, number 48, page 68:
      The industry also continues to discuss how the new GATT will serve to prevent a flood of deletes into the market
    • 1985 February 9, Billboard[4], volume 97, number 6, page 38:
      Brian Robertson, president of the Canadian Recording Industry Assn. (CRIA), says the flood of deletes could be more harmful than the last wave []
  3. (uncountable) Alternative letter-case form of Delete
  4. (computing) The delete character (U+007F or %7F).

Further reading



delete f pl

  1. feminine plural of deleto





  1. second-person plural present active imperative of dēleō



  1. vocative masculine singular of dēlētus


Etymology 1

Borrowed from English delete.



  • Hyphenation: de‧le‧te


delete m (plural deletes)

  1. Delete (key)

Etymology 2

See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.



  • Hyphenation: de‧le‧te



  1. inflection of deletar:
    1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular imperative