demolish

verb
de·​mol·​ish | \ di-ˈmä-lish \
demolished; demolishing; demolishes

Definition of demolish

transitive verb

1a : tear down, raze demolish a building
b : to break to pieces : smash His car was demolished in the accident.
2a : to do away with : destroy a filibuster which would effectively demolish the issueCurrent Biography … a performance so awkward and apathetic it instantly appeared to demolish any chance of restoring her declining career …— Dave Itzkoff
b : to strip of any pretense of merit or credence demolished her debate opponents demolish a stereotype

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Other Words from demolish

demolisher noun
demolishment \ -​lish-​mənt \ noun

Examples of demolish in a Sentence

The old factory was demolished to make way for a new parking lot. Tons of explosives were used to demolish the building. The town hopes to restore the old theater rather than have it demolished. The car was demolished in the accident. They demolished the other team 51–7.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In 1848, when tonight's episode takes place, the original house on the estate was demolished. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Peek Inside Osborne House, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's Seaside Escape," 27 Jan. 2019 The Coliseum deteriorated, finally closed and was later demolished. Jenna Carlesso, courant.com, "CRDA Receives One Bid For Purchase Of Hartford's Aging XL Center," 29 June 2018 The move would mean the district could repurpose, demolish or sell the Fifth Street building. Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, "Proposal to move East Aurora school district offices met with concern from preschool teachers," 21 June 2018 Bad for Women in Architecture Award To JP Morgan Chase, demolishing Natalie De Blois’s Union Carbide tower, a landmark in everyone’s eyes but theirs. Mark Lamster, Curbed, "2018 in architecture: The good, the bad, and the urbanism," 27 Dec. 2018 Republicans have been fixated on loosening those federal rules, and this latest revision demolishes that key guardrail embedded in Obamacare. Dylan Scott, Vox, "We have a new worst-case scenario for Obamacare," 3 Dec. 2018 The two countries have undertaken a number of steps designed to reduce hostility, including disarming guards at the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas and demolishing a number of guard posts along the border. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Pentagon Scales Back Joint U.S./South Korean Military Exercises," 26 Nov. 2018 Of the many buildings and homes demolished by the Camp Fire was Paradise High School. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "California's Fires Lead to School Closings, Poor Air Quality, and Public Service Shutdowns as Death Toll Climbs," 16 Nov. 2018 Workers have made an unexpected discovery when demolishing an uninhabited house in France — 600 gold coins. Fox News, "Gold coins worth $117G discovered in abandoned house," 2 Oct. 2018

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

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First Known Use of demolish

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for demolish

borrowed from Middle French demolir, extended stem demoliss- (with final conformed to earlier English verbs with the same ending, as nourish, perish), borrowed from Latin dēmōlīrī, dēmōlīre "to throw off, pull down, raze," from dē- de- + mōlīrī "to labor to bring about, strive, build, construct." probably derivative of mōlēs "large mass, massive structure, effort, exertion" — more at mole entry 4

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Learn More about demolish

Statistics for demolish

Last Updated

13 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for demolish

The first known use of demolish was in 1570

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More Definitions for demolish

demolish

verb

English Language Learners Definition of demolish

: to destroy (a building, bridge, etc.) : to forcefully tear down or take apart (a structure)
: to damage (something) so that it cannot be repaired
informal : to eat all of (something) quickly

demolish

verb
de·​mol·​ish | \ di-ˈmä-lish \
demolished; demolishing

Kids Definition of demolish

1 : to destroy by breaking apart demolish a building
2 : to ruin completely : shatter He demolished the speed record.

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More from Merriam-Webster on demolish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with demolish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for demolish

Spanish Central: Translation of demolish

Nglish: Translation of demolish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of demolish for Arabic Speakers

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