annihilation

noun an·ni·hi·la·tion \ ə-ˌnī-ə-ˈlā-shən \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of annihilation

plural annihilations
1 : the state or fact of being completely destroyed or obliterated : the act of annihilating something or the state of being annihilated
  • The late 1940s and '50s were so pervaded by a general fear of nuclear annihilation that the era was known as the Age of Anxiety.
  • —Charles Krauthammer
  • For a literary culture that fears it is on the brink of total annihilation, we are awfully cavalier about the Great Male Novelists of the last century.
  • —Katie Roiphe
  • … few experts believe that either regime would risk annihilation by actually launching a nuke in anger.
  • —Michael Elliott
  • The Cretaceous Extinction, whatever its cause, was one of the two most awesome annihilations of life in the history of the world.
  • —John McPhee
2 physics : the combination of a particle and its antiparticle (such as an electron and a positron) that results in the subsequent total conversion of the particles into energy
  • Both the creation and annihilation of antimatter have been observed in nuclear accelerators (atom-smashers).
  • —Harding E. Smith
  • The annihilation reactions are the most efficient sources of energy known, for in them the entire mass of both particles is converted into pure energy.
  • —George Greenstein

First Known Use of annihilation

1585



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