Definition of defenestration
- assassination by defenestration
- the defenestration of political leaders
- the mass defenestration of middle management
- —Jane Bryant Quinn
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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.
First Known Use: 1619See Words from the same year
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to lower or disgrace the reputation of
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