annihilate

play
verb an·ni·hi·late \ ə-ˈnī-ə-ˌlāt \

Definition of annihilate

annihilated; annihilating
transitive verb
1 a :to cause to cease to exist :to do away with entirely so that nothing remains
b :to destroy a considerable part of
  • Bombs annihilated the city.
  • The enemy troops were annihilated.
c :to defeat overwhelmingly :rout
  • annihilated the visitors 56–0
2 a :to cause to be of no effect :nullify
  • a right to freedom that cannot be annihilated
b :to destroy the substance or force of
  • Fear can annihilate one's confidence.
3 :to regard as of no consequence
4 :to cause (something, such as a particle and its antiparticle) to vanish or cease to exist by coming together and changing into other forms of energy (such as photons)
  • matter and antimatter annihilate each other
intransitive verb
of a particle and its antiparticle :to vanish or cease to exist by coming together and changing into other forms of energy (such as photons)

annihilation

play \-ˌnī-ə-ˈlā-shən\ noun

annihilator

play \-ˌlā-tər\ noun

annihilatory

play \-ˈnī-ə-lə-ˌtȯr-ē\ adjective

Recent Examples of annihilate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'annihilate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of annihilate

Late Latin annihilatus, past participle of annihilare to reduce to nothing, from Latin ad- + nihil nothing — more at nil


ANNIHILATE Defined for Kids

annihilate

play
verb an·ni·hi·late \ ə-ˈnī-ə-ˌlāt \

Definition of annihilate for Students

annihilated; annihilating
:to destroy completely

annihilation

\-ˌnī-ə-ˈlā-shən\ noun


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