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
defenestrateplay \(ˌ)dē-ˈfe-nə-ˌstrāt\ transitive verb
defenestration was our Word of the Day on 08/16/2011. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of defenestration from the Web
And the last surviving child of Jaime and Cersei’s incestuous love, King Tommen the Brief, killed himself at the end of Season 6 by self-defenestration.
Against that backdrop of foreboding, of darker days ahead, of prime ministerial defenestration and a fresh election, of chaos and confusion, what meaning is there in a state visit?
Now let’s consider the defenestration at Ford Motor Company of Mark Fields.
A digression about the history of defenestration in Scotland shows that even writers as prolific as McCall Smith are not immune to the pleasures of falling down a rabbit hole while doing research.
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
First Known Use: 1620See Words from the same year
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