di·​lap·​i·​dat·​ed | \ də-ˈla-pə-ˌdā-təd How to pronounce dilapidated (audio) \

Definition of dilapidated

: decayed, deteriorated, or fallen into partial ruin especially through neglect or misuse a dilapidated old house

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Something that is dilapidated may not have been literally pummeled with stones, but it might look that way. Dilapidated derives (via the English verb dilapidate) from dilapidatus, the past participle of the Latin verb dilapidare ("to squander or destroy"). That verb was formed by combining dis-, meaning "apart," with the verb lapidare, meaning "to pelt with stones." Other English descendants of lapidare include the verb lapidate ("to pelt or kill with stones") and the noun lapidary, which is used to refer to a person who cuts or polishes precious stones. 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.

Examples of dilapidated in a Sentence

a dilapidated car that had seen better days
Recent Examples on the Web Hip-hop and all its surrounding politics take root in the South Bronx, then one of the poorest and dilapidated immigrant neighborhoods in the country. Marjua Estevez, refinery29.com, 19 Apr. 2022 However, advocates say evictions are a black mark that traps many people in homelessness or dilapidated apartments, and private lists can circumvent federal consumer protections that might enable individuals to fight back. The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 Apr. 2022 In the blistering cold, ordinary Ukrainians gather each weekend at an old and dilapidated Soviet youth camp on the eastern edge of Kyiv with one mission: to protect their country against possible Russian aggression. Washington Post, 11 Feb. 2022 Meanwhile, poor districts endure aging, dilapidated and sometimes unsafe schools – despite paying high property tax rates. Michael Addonizio, The Conversation, 2 Apr. 2021 In the first episode of this season, three brave couples who bought dilapidated houses begin their individual demolitions in hopes of uncovering their own diamond in the rough. oregonlive, 30 Apr. 2022 Another $10 million would help communities update zoning regulations or demolish vacant, dilapidated buildings. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 18 Apr. 2022 Logline: When his apartment building is under threat from developers, a 20-year-old’s dreams fade along with his dilapidated home. Shalini Dore, Variety, 11 Nov. 2021 The city has also used social media to respond to the photos of dirty, dilapidated Paris. Washington Post, 20 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dilapidated.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of dilapidated

1565, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dilapidated

see dilapidate

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The first known use of dilapidated was in 1565

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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dilapidated.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dilapidated. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for dilapidated


di·​lap·​i·​dat·​ed | \ də-ˈla-pə-ˌdā-təd \

Kids Definition of dilapidated

: falling apart or ruined from age or from lack of care a dilapidated car

More from Merriam-Webster on dilapidated

Nglish: Translation of dilapidated for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dilapidated for Arabic Speakers


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