dilapidate

play
verb di·lap·i·date \ də-ˈla-pə-ˌdāt \

Definition of dilapidate

dilapidated; dilapidating
transitive verb
1 :to bring into a condition of decay or partial ruin
  • furniture is dilapidated by use
  • —Janet Flanner
2 archaic :squander
intransitive verb
:to decay, deteriorate, or fall into partial ruin especially through neglect or misuse :to become dilapidated

dilapidation

play \-ˌla-pə-ˈdā-shən\ noun

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Recent Examples of dilapidate from the Web

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.

The Origin of dilapidate

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.

Origin and Etymology of dilapidate

Latin dilapidatus, past participle of dilapidare to squander, destroy, from dis- + lapidare to pelt with stones, from lapid-, lapis stone


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