The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is extradite. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.
What It Means
To extradite someone who has been accused of a crime is to send that person to the state or country that has jurisdiction to try them for that crime.
// The U.S. has rejected the country’s request to extradite the journalist because of concerns that she will be subjected to an unfair trial there.
// An alleged criminal is typically only extradited under the provisions of a treaty or statute, but a fugitive is occasionally surrendered by one state or country to another as an act of good will.
EXTRADITE in Context
“The U.S. State Department on Friday asked authorities in El Salvador to ‘immediately’ extradite leaders of the international criminal gang MS-13 to be put on trial in the United States.” — Nelson Renteria and Brendan O’Boyle, Reuters, 24 June 2022
Did You Know?
Extradite and its related noun extradition are both ultimately Latin in origin: their source is tradition-, tradition, meaning “the act of handing over.” (The word tradition, though centuries older, has the same source; consider tradition as something handed over from one generation to the next.) While extradition and extradite are of 19th century vintage, the U.S. Constitution, written in 1787, addresses the idea in Article IV: “A person charged in any State with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another State, shall on demand of the executive authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having jurisdiction of the crime.”