Open main menu

Wiktionary β

See also: remové




From Middle English remeven, removen, from Anglo-Norman remover, removeir, from Old French remouvoir, from Latin removēre, from re- + movēre (to move)



remove (third-person singular simple present removes, present participle removing, simple past and past participle removed)

  1. (transitive) To move something from one place to another, especially to take away.
    He removed the marbles from the bag.
    • Bible, Deuteronomy xix.14:
      Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour's landmark.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 2, in The China Governess[1]:
      Now that she had rested and had fed from the luncheon tray Mrs. Broome had just removed, she had reverted to her normal gaiety.  She looked cool in a grey tailored cotton dress with a terracotta scarf and shoes and her hair a black silk helmet.
    1. (obsolete, formal) To replace a dish within a course.
      • 1959, Georgette Heyer, chapter 1, in The Unknown Ajax:
        But Richmond [] appeared to lose himself in his own reflections. Some pickled crab, which he had not touched, had been removed with a damson pie; and his sister saw [] that he had eaten no more than a spoonful of that either.
  2. (transitive) To murder.
  3. (cricket, transitive) To dismiss a batsman.
  4. (transitive) To discard, set aside, especially something abstract (a thought, feeling, etc.).
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.viii:
      Die had she rather in tormenting griefe, / Then any should of falsenesse her reproue, / Or loosenesse, that she lightly did remoue.
    • 2013 June 21, Karen McVeigh, “US rules human genes can't be patented”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 2, page 10:
      The US supreme court has ruled unanimously that natural human genes cannot be patented, a decision that scientists and civil rights campaigners said removed a major barrier to patient care and medical innovation.
  5. (intransitive, now rare) To depart, leave.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter vj, in Le Morte Darthur, book V:
      THenne the kynge dyd doo calle syre Gawayne / syre Borce / syr Lyonel and syre Bedewere / and commaunded them to goo strayte to syre Lucius / and saye ye to hym that hastely he remeue oute of my land / And yf he wil not / bydde hym make hym redy to bataylle and not distresse the poure peple
  6. (intransitive) To change one's residence; to move.
    • William Shakespeare
      Till Birnam wood remove to Dunsinane.
    • 1719, Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
      Now my life began to be so easy that I began to say to myself that could I but have been safe from more savages, I cared not if I was never to remove from the place where I lived.
    • 1834, David Crockett, A Narrative of the Life of, Nebraska 1987, p.20:
      Shortly after this, my father removed, and settled in the same county, about ten miles above Greenville.
  7. To dismiss or discharge from office.
    The President removed many postmasters.



Derived termsEdit



remove (plural removes)

  1. The act of removing something.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Milton
      This place should be at once both school and university, not needing a remove to any other house of scholarship.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Goldsmith
      And drags at each remove a lengthening chain.
    • 1761, John Mordant, The Complete Steward
      There is no tree admits of transplantation so well as the Elm, for a tree of twenty years growth will admit of a remove.
  2. (archaic) Removing a dish at a meal in order to replace it with the next course, a dish thus replaced, or the replacement.
  3. (Britain) (at some public schools) A division of the school, especially the form prior to last
  4. A step or gradation (as in the phrase "at one remove")
    • (Can we date this quote?) Addison
      A freeholder is but one remove from a legislator.
  5. Distance in time or space; interval.
    • 1970, Yuri Rytkheu, Сон в начале тумана [A Dream in Polar Fog]:
      Toko returned to the men, sitting at a remove.
    • 2007, James D. McCallister, King's Highway, page 162:
      In his unfortunate absence at this far remove of 2007, Zevon's musicianship and irascible wit are as missed as ever.
  6. (dated) The transfer of one's home or business to another place; a move.
    • (Can we date this quote?) J. H. Newman
      It is an English proverb that three removes are as bad as a fire.
  7. The act of resetting a horse's shoe.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Jonathan Swift to this entry?)


  • OED 2nd edition 1989