de·​mo·​li·​tion | \ ˌde-mə-ˈli-shən, ˌdē-mə-\

Definition of demolition

1 : the act of demolishing especially : destruction in war by means of explosives
2 demolitions plural : explosives for destruction in war

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Other Words from demolition

demolitionist \ -​ˈli-​sh(ə-​)nəst \ noun

Examples of demolition in a Sentence

The old factory is scheduled for demolition next week. The demolitions should be complete by the end of the year.

Recent Examples on the Web

The demolition of the old Kosciuszko Bridge, as seen on Oct. 1, 2017. Paul Berger, WSJ, "Explosives Considered to Bring Down Old Tappan Zee Bridge," 6 Dec. 2018 Of about 411 buildings marked for demolition, only 62 have been taken down, and almost 1,000 more that were seriously damaged have yet to be reinforced. Fox News, "Damaged buildings, graft haunt Mexico City year after quake," 18 Sep. 2018 The first step of the actual remodel is demolition. Brett Martin, House Beautiful, "How Long It Takes To Renovate Every Single Room In Your House," 26 Dec. 2018 The local government tapped the studio to develop low-cost housing modules for artists that would make the neighborhood’s centuries-old structures habitable again without demolition. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Prefab ‘plug-in houses’ help revitalize dilapidated buildings," 18 Dec. 2018 President Trump has mostly been in the demolition industry where foreign policy is concerned. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "The Three Stages of Trump’s Foreign Policy," 19 Nov. 2018 The Sirius apartment building in Australia, for instance, faced demolition last year, but was ultimately saved by a campaign—#saveoursirius—that logged 2,964 posts on Instagram. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook’s problems in Europe are piling up," 21 Sep. 2018 With the landmark status in place, any proposed demolition or alteration to the exterior of 128 Chestnut St. would have to go through the Historical Commission, said Katy Hax Holmes, the city’s senior planner. John Hilliard,, "West Newton Hill home is named a ‘local landmark’," 5 July 2018 Three of the six proposals require either a full or partial demolition of the building, which was constructed in 1935. Detroit Free Press, "Decision on future of Ladywood property delayed, no timetable in sight," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'demolition.' 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 demolition

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for demolition

borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, borrowed from Latin dēmōlītiōn-, dēmōlītiō, from dēmōlīrī "to throw down, pull down, demolish" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns

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Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for demolition

The first known use of demolition was in 1549

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English Language Learners Definition of demolition

: deliberate destruction of a building or other structure


de·​mo·​li·​tion | \ ˌde-mə-ˈli-shən \

Kids Definition of demolition

: the act of destroying by breaking apart especially using explosives

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What made you want to look up demolition? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a complex dispute or argument

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