Definition of dilapidate
- furniture is dilapidated by use
- —Janet Flanner
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These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dilapidate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Something that is dilapidated may not have been literally pummeled with stones, but it might look that way. Dilapidate derives from the past participle of the Latin verb dilapidare, meaning "to squander or destroy." That verb was formed by combining "dis-" with another verb, lapidare, meaning "to pelt with stones." From there it's just a stone's throw to some other English relatives of "dilapidate." You might, for example, notice a resemblance between "lapidare" and our word for a person who cuts or polishes precious stones, "lapidary." That's because both words share as a root the Latin noun lapis, meaning "stone." We also find "lapis" in the name "lapis lazuli," a bright blue semiprecious stone.
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