• defenestration
  • audio pronunciation
  • \dee-fen-uh-STRAY-shun\
  • DEFINITION

noun

1
: a throwing of a person or thing out of a window
2
: a usually swift dismissal or expulsion (as from a political party or office)
  • EXAMPLES

As with all annoying electronic devices, there is a risk that my new alarm clock will meet with a sudden end by defenestration.

"They are … bent on the politics of polarization, their more sensible leaders held hostage to the threat of defenestration in the next round of primary contests." -- From an article by Robert Shrum in The Week, July 14, 2011

  • DID YOU KNOW?

These days "defenestration" is often used as it is in our second example above: to describe the forceful removal of someone from public office or from some other advantageous position. History’s most famous defenestration, however, was one in which the tossing out the window was quite literal. On May 23, 1618, two imperial regents were found guilty of violating certain guarantees of religious freedom. As punishment, they were thrown out the window of Prague Castle. The men survived the 50-foot tumble into the moat, but the incident, which became known as the Defenestration of Prague, marked the beginning of the Bohemian resistance to Hapsburg rule that eventually led to the Thirty Years' War.

Test Your Vocabulary: Fill in the blanks to create an interjection that was formerly used in Scotland when throwing slops from the windows into the streets: g_r_y_oo. The answer is ...

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