Where does the word “expunge” come from and What does expunge mean?

In old Roman days, when a soldier had retired from service and his name was to be carried no longer on the lists, the fact was indicated by a series of dots or points pricked over or beneath his name.

In this manner it was said to be “pointed out.” The Latin term for “to point or prick out” is expungo.

In English use expunge carries the sense of deletion by erasure, blotting, omission, or striking out in any form.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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