dilapidate

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verb di·lap·i·date \də-ˈla-pə-ˌdāt\

Definition of dilapidate

dilapidated

;

dilapidating

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to bring into a condition of decay or partial ruin furniture is dilapidated by use — Janet Flanner

  3. 2 archaic :  squander

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to decay, deteriorate, or fall into partial ruin especially through neglect or misuse :  to become dilapidated

dilapidation

play \-ˌla-pə-ˈdā-shən\ noun

dilapidate was our Word of the Day on 08/25/2008. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

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


First Known Use: 1565


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