I'm writing a short story about an alien race that is determined to kill every last human on Earth, as in:
They want to ______ the human race. (make humans extinct)
Is there a word meaning "to make extinct"?
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Exterminate is the word usually used in that type of story.
To get rid of by destroying; destroy totally; extirpate:
I think of eradicate.
To remove or destroy utterly
Perhaps extinguish will work for you:
- To cause extinction of; to bring to an end to.
They ruthlessly extinguished all resistance.
The aliens are determined to obliterate the human race.
Obliterate, from Dictionary.com:
to remove or destroy all traces of; do away with; destroy completely
It may sound a bit informal, but
wipe out has the intended meaning of "make extinct".
Definition of wipe out transitive verb :
to destroy completely :
Here are some examples from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (http://corpus.byu.edu/coca/) of
wipe out being used to mean "make extinct".
"... into a single mosquito and release that mosquito into the wild. You may eventually wipe out the disease altogether. "
"... University. Data are lacking on whether " some crazy event can come along and wipe out a species that is doing just fine, " he says. " General ... "
"nihilists who believed in living for the moment because a nuclear catastrophe was apt to wipe out the human race before any of them reached 30."
The Oxford English Dictionary gives several definitions of "extinct" which are verbs, all of which are absolute synonyms of the various senses of the verb "extinguish".
I think it's completely within writer's or speaker's license to use it in the sense of "to make [a species] extinct".
Humanity extirpated the dodos, but, maybe aliens do want to extinct humanity.