verb (used with object), ob·lit·er·at·ed, ob·lit·er·at·ing.
- to remove or destroy all traces of; do away with; destroy completely.
- to blot out or render undecipherable (writing, marks, etc.); efface.
- (tr) to destroy every trace of; wipe out completely
v.c.1600, from Latin obliteratus, past participle of obliterare “cause to disappear, blot out, erase, efface,” figuratively “cause to be forgotten,” from ob “against” (see ob-) + littera (also litera) “letter, script” (see letter (n.)); abstracted from phrase literas scribere “write across letters, strike out letters.” Related: Obliterated; obliterating. v.
- To remove an organ or another body part completely, as by surgery, disease, or radiation.
- To blot out, especially through filling of a natural space by fibrosis or inflammation.