demolish

verb de·mol·ish \ di-ˈmä-lish \

Definition of demolish

transitive verb
1 a :tear down, raze
  • demolish a building
b :to break to pieces :smash
  • His car was demolished in the accident.
2 a :to do away with :destroy
  • a filibuster which would effectively demolish the issue
  • Current 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

demolisher

noun

demolishment

play \-lish-mənt\ noun

Examples of demolish in a Sentence

  1. The old factory was demolished to make way for a new parking lot.

  2. Tons of explosives were used to demolish the building.

  3. The town hopes to restore the old theater rather than have it demolished.

  4. The car was demolished in the accident.

  5. They demolished the other team 51–7.

Recent Examples of demolish from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of demolish

Middle French demoliss-, stem of demolir, from Latin demoliri, from de- + moliri to construct, from moles mass — more at mole


DEMOLISH Defined for English Language Learners

demolish

verb

Definition of demolish for English Language Learners

  • : to destroy (a building, bridge, etc.) : to forcefully tear down or take apart (a structure)

  • : to damage (something) so that it cannot be repaired

  • : to eat all of (something) quickly


DEMOLISH Defined for Kids

demolish

verb de·mol·ish \ di-ˈmä-lish \

Definition of demolish for Students

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


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