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[dem-uh-lish-uh n, dee-muh-] /ˌdɛm əˈlɪʃ ən, ˌdi mə-/
an act or instance of demolishing.
the state of being demolished; destruction.
destruction or demolishment by explosives.
demolitions, explosives, especially as used in war.
of, relating to, or working with explosives:
A demolition squad attempted to blow up the bridge before the enemy captured it.
of or relating to tearing down or demolishing:
Demolition work had begun on the old building.
Origin of demolition
1540-50; < Latin dēmōlītiōn- (stem of dēmōlītiō), equivalent to dēmōlīt(us) (past participle of dēmōlīrī; see demolish) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
demolitionist, noun
nondemolition, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for demolition
  • demolition on the site has already begun, reports say.
  • It was, presumably, a candidate for either renovation or demolition.
  • The city declared the charming but architecturally undistinguished buildings historic landmarks, blocking demolition for a year.
  • Except for the demolition of the old buildings, nothing came of either plan.
  • Even so, few of them defy demolition for more than a few decades.
  • People whose houses face demolition complain about stingy compensation.
  • Then private investors can come in and build something new without the demolition expense.
  • They were destroyed in a planned, controlled demolition.
  • The notices said the demolition was being done to make way for a road leading to the capital's south train station.
  • Later in the day, the car exploded when a demolition team failed to disarm it, but no one was injured.
British Dictionary definitions for demolition


/ˌdɛməˈlɪʃən; ˌdiː-/
the act of demolishing or state of being demolished
(mainly military)
  1. destruction by explosives
  2. (as modifier): a demolition charge
Derived Forms
demolitionist, noun, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for demolition

1540s, from Old French demolition (14c.) "demolition; defeat, rout," from Latin demolitionem (nominative demolitio), noun of action from past participle stem of demoliri (see demolish). Mencken noted demolition engineer for "house-wrecker" by 1936. Demolition derby is recorded from 1956, American English, defined by OED as "a contest in which old cars are battered into one another, the last one running being declared the winner."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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