demolish

verb
de·​mol·​ish | \ di-ˈmä-lish How to pronounce demolish (audio) \
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 \ di-​ˈmä-​lish-​mənt How to pronounce demolishment (audio) \ 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

Homes there were demolished when owners took federal buyouts that bar homes from ever being built in the flood-prone areas. Washington Post, "Mobile home dwellers left behind after 2013 Colorado floods," 17 Sep. 2019 During that time, the Libyan state was mostly demolished. Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker, "The Moral Logic of Humanitarian Intervention," 9 Sep. 2019 The Sunni slums that did not are being demolished and redeveloped for his bourgeois supporters. The Economist, "Syria will poison the region for years to come," 5 Sep. 2019 The whole settlement has been completely demolished. Hanna Krueger, BostonGlobe.com, "Dorian’s blow to the Bahamas reverberates in the lives of three Mass. residents," 3 Sep. 2019 For each greeting, a thousand houses were demolished. Dustin Gardiner, SFChronicle.com, "Complaints of biased curriculum may sideline California’s ethnic studies push," 21 Aug. 2019 The Sea Galley was demolished this week after sitting charred and derelict for several months. Author: Madeline Mcgee, Anchorage Daily News, "Months after string of Anchorage business fires, questions still remain," 15 Aug. 2019 For each greeting, a thousand houses were demolished. New York Times, "Push for Ethnic Studies in Schools Faces a Dilemma: Whose Stories to Tell," 15 Aug. 2019 The church where she was buried was demolished in the early 19th century and, although the gravestone survived, it was lost for many years until its recent rediscovery. Fox News, "'Snow White' gravestone surfaces in Germany," 6 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for demolish

Last Updated

9 Oct 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 How to pronounce demolish (audio) \
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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