defenestration

noun de·fen·es·tra·tion \ (ˌ)dē-ˌfe-nə-ˈstrā-shən \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of defenestration

1 : a throwing of a person or thing out of a window
  • assassination by defenestration
2 : a usually swift dismissal or expulsion (as from a political party or office)
  • the defenestration of political leaders
  • the mass defenestration of middle management
  • —Jane Bryant Quinn

defenestrate

play \(ˌ)dē-ˈfe-nə-ˌstrāt\ transitive verb

Recent Examples of defenestration from the Web

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

Did You Know?

These days defenestration is often used 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.

Origin and Etymology of defenestration

de- + Latin fenestra window


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