MEANING: verb intr.
1. To demagnetize.
2. To erase a disk or other storage device.

ETYMOLOGY: From gauss, a unit of magnetic field strength, named after the mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855). Earliest documented use: 1940.

NOTES: You can friend & defriend and you can magnetize & demagnetize, but you can only degauss, you can’t gauss. You can debunk, but not bunk, and you can defenestrate, but not fenestrate. What other words like this can you think of? *

[ * Actually, "fenestrate" is commonplace in medical parlance, meaning to create a hole (i.e. a window) in something. First coming to mind is a "fenestrated tracheostomy tube" so that a patient can breathe on his own even though the airway is obstructed by an artificial trach tube. It's part of the weaning process. -- Wofahulicodoc]

DIGAUSS - alternating magnetism

DEGAULS - Paris airports

PEGAUSS - orthographically-challenged flying horse


I'll be away from computer access for a week or so - if anyone else wants to contribute in the meantime, feel free!