1 : a throwing of a person or thing out of a window
2 : a usually swift dismissal or expulsion (as from a political party or office)
Did You Know?
These days defenestration is often used to describe the forceful removal of someone from public office or from some other advantageous position. History's most famous defenestration, however, was one in which the tossing out the window was quite literal. On May 23, 1618, two imperial regents were found guilty of violating certain guarantees of religious freedom. As punishment, they were thrown out the window of Prague Castle. The men survived the 50-foot tumble into the moat, but the incident, which became known as the Defenestration of Prague, marked the beginning of the Bohemian resistance to Hapsburg rule that eventually led to the Thirty Years' War.
Although defenestration may seem an appropriate response to an alarm clock set for too early an hour, the demise of the device does not change the hour of the day.
"It's possible that nobody in Hollywood works harder than Tom Cruise, who, in his latest turn as Ethan Hunt, once again finds himself in a race against time after a mission goes wrong. Expect defenestration, helicopter crashes, and exploding motorbikes." — Vogue (vogue.com), 22 May 2018
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary
Fill in the blanks to complete an interjection that was formerly used in Edinburgh, Scotland, when throwing slops from the windows into the streets: g _ r _ _ lo _.VIEW THE ANSWER
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