Definition of liquidate
- liquidate a loan
- was hired to liquidate a certain businessman
- liquidated his securities
The owners were ordered to liquidate the company and pay their creditors.
The company is liquidating its assets.
The owners were ordered to liquidate.
The film is about a professional killer who's hired to liquidate a powerful businessman.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'liquidate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use: circa 1575See Words from the same year
In the financial world, to liquidate something means to sell it for cash. Although this sounds harmless, in the corporate world the term often carries a connotation of failure, because it is most often used in discussions about Chapter 7 -- a section of U.S. bankruptcy law under which companies and individuals liquidate their assets in order to repay their debts.
Individuals, partnerships or corporations can liquidate assets. In the case of bankruptcy, when and how a borrower liquidates assets is a big deal. If all the debtor's assets are tax-exempt or subject to liens, there may not be any assets to liquidate and hence no money to distribute to creditors. If there are assets to liquidate, however, the creditors usually file a written claim so they can receive some of the proceeds. The trustee handles the liquidation and determines which creditors are paid first.
The last step in the effort to repay debt in bankruptcy is usually to liquidate everything. However, the steps preceding liquidation usually involve bankruptcy, which -- at the individual level -- virtually ruins a person's credit for several years, making it very difficult and expensive to borrow money.
For businesses, liquidation usually means closing for good and selling off the assets. In the end, if a company's stock or bonds are deemed worthless by the bankruptcy court, investors might be able to deduct their losses on their tax returns.
business : to sell (a business, property, etc.) especially to pay off debt
: to pay all the money owed for (a debt)
: to destroy (something) or kill (someone)
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