There's the standard phrasal verb "cut down" as in "cut down a tree", that's used to refer to the act of cutting down a plant without removing a tree. I would like to know what's the verb we use to mean "removing the plant while removing its roots as well"? Is there such a verb. Let's me give you an example:

The workers ___ several trees in order to build a big airport in the area.

  • Is there some reason for you to think that this meaning has a one word definition in English. What is it in you native language? – James K Apr 20 at 18:28
  • There is no such verb in English when you mean a person does it. uproot is usually for forces, like the wind. A person removes the roots of a tree. If you say removed the trees, that should be enough. – Lambie Apr 20 at 18:32

The word uproot is in the Oxford Dictionaries as

VERB [with object]

1 Pull (something, especially a tree or plant) out of the ground.

the elephant's trunk is powerful enough to uproot trees

So your sentence can be

The workers uprooted several trees in order to build a big airport in the area.


I like the word eradicate:

1 : to do away with as completely as if by pulling up by the roots
// programs to eradicate illiteracy
2 : to pull up by the roots

(source: Merriam-Webster)

because it has a figurative meaning as well.

Eradicate, which first turned up in English in the 16th century, comes from eradicatus, the past participle of the Latin verb eradicare. Eradicare, in turn, can be traced back to the Latin word radix, meaning "root" or "radish." Although eradicate began life as a word for literal uprooting, by the mid-17th century it had developed a metaphorical application to removing things the way one might yank an undesirable weed up by the roots.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.