English Synonyms and Antonyms
Cancel, efface, erase, expunge, and obliterate have as their first meaning the removal of written characters or other forms of record. To cancel is, literally, to make a lattice by cross-lines, exactly our English cross out; to efface is to rub off, smooth away the face, as of an inscription; to erase is to scratch out, commonly for the purpose of writing something else in the same space; to expunge, is to punch out with some sharp instrument, so as to show that the words are no longer part of the writing; to obliterate is to cover over or remove, as a letter, as was done by reversing the Roman stylus, and rubbing out with the rounded end what had been written with the point on the waxen tablet. What has been canceled, erased, expunged, may perhaps still be traced; what is obliterated is gone forever, as if it had never been. In many establishments, when a debt is discharged by payment, the record is canceled. The figurative use of the words keeps close to the primary sense. Compare ABOLISH.
abolish, abrogate, annul, blot out, cancel, cross off, cross out, discharge, efface, erase, expunge, nullify, obliterate, quash, remove, repeal, rescind, revoke, rub off, rub out, scratch out, vacate
approve, confirm, enact, enforce, establish, maintain, perpetuate, record, reenact, sustain, uphold, write