The OLD includes the following meaning for the noun "removal" in British English:

an act of taking furniture, etc. from one house to another

Is the use of this noun with a similar meaning in expressions such as

this discussion was marked for removal to Sec.II

correct? Or should it be substituted with, e.g.,

this discussion was marked to be moved to Sec.II


Clarification in response to comments: my question is if removal can be used in combination with the new location, i.e., "removal to somewhere".

  • "Removal" has many possible senses, some quite sinister.
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 18, 2019 at 17:50
  • From Constitution of the State of New York Adopted in 1846: In case of the impeachment of the Governor, his removal from office, death, refusal to qualify, resignation, or absence from the State, the President of the Senate shall [do something]. No "furniture removal" implications there. Feb 18, 2019 at 18:46
  • It may clarify the question if it is noted that removal is used for 'an act of taking furniture, etc. from one house to another' only in British English.
    – jsw29
    Feb 19, 2019 at 2:56
  • @jsw29 Agreed and updated. Feb 19, 2019 at 6:19
  • 1
    This question is formulated as a question about the correct use of the prepositions, but it seems me that it is really about the implications of the word removal. In most of its uses, it implies that the move is from some more desirable, more central place, to an inferior, peripheral one (it is somewhat akin to 'banish'). In furniture-related contexts, in British English, it, however, does not have that implication. The question is: can it be used without that implication for something other than furniture?
    – jsw29
    Feb 19, 2019 at 16:59

2 Answers 2


I have seen the phrase "remove to" to indicate the movement of people, particularly in 19th century writing.

Let men of capital and scientific acquirements remove to Canada and employ poor people....

The Farmer's Register, 1842


PISCATOR. They will not bite for ever in the same place. They are a cunning animal, and get frightened.

DISCIPULA. Then let us remove to another spot.

The Knickerbocker, 1844

Google's Ngram Viewer shows a steady decline in usage from 1820 to 1940, but it is still in use to a small degree.

This is the only usage I, a native American English speaker, can recall hearing where "remove" is combined with a destination.

In the example given, I would write

this discussion was marked to be moved to Sec. II

I would only use remove in the sense of delete when referring to text in a document.


Removal is still used regularly in the context of the deportation of unwanted aliens to another country. Here are two recent examples from 2013 and 2017, the first one from a press release of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Zokhidov versus Russia, the other one from the US Department of Justice:

  • Mr Zokhidov complained that his removal to Uzbekistan had been in violation of Article 3, in particular since, as a person accused of participating in a banned religious organisation considered extremist by the Uzbek authorities, he ran a real risk of ill-treatment.
  • Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, a citizen of Uzbekistan and resident of Brooklyn, New York, was sentenced by United States District Judge William F. Kuntz, II, to 15 years’ imprisonment for conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). The U.S. government intends to seek his removal to Uzbekistan upon completion of his sentence of imprisonment.

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