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annihilate

[uh-nahy-uh-leyt] /əˈnaɪ əˌleɪt/
verb (used with object), annihilated, annihilating.
1.
to reduce to utter ruin or nonexistence; destroy utterly:
The heavy bombing almost annihilated the city.
2.
to destroy the collective existence or main body of; wipe out:
to annihilate an army.
3.
to annul; make void:
to annihilate a law.
4.
to cancel the effect of; nullify.
5.
to defeat completely; vanquish:
Our basketball team annihilated the visiting team.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English adnichilat(e) destroyed < Late Latin annihilātus brought to nothing, annihilated (past participle of annihilāre) (Latin an- an-2 + nihil nothing + -ātus -ate1)
Related forms
annihilative
[uh-nahy-uh-ley-tiv, ‐uh-luh‐] /əˈnaɪ əˌleɪ tɪv, ‐ə lə‐/ (Show IPA),
annihilatory
[uh-nahy-uh-luh-tawr-ee, ‐tohr-ee] /əˈnaɪ ə ləˌtɔr i, ‐ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
adjective
unannihilated, adjective
unannihilative, adjective
unannihilatory, adjective
Synonyms
1. ravage, devastate, desolate. 1, 2. smash, obliterate, demolish.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for annihilating
  • We are close to annihilating hundreds of exquisite animal species.
  • And they have a nasty reputation for annihilating collaborators with the invaders.
  • Swiftness is part of his triumph and of his character's blinkered, annihilating aggression.
  • In their annihilating dances, those children outlived the world.
  • Antimatter produces gamma rays when annihilating against matter.
  • Finally, the antiparticle decays directly into the nucleus, annihilating itself and emitting a shower of pions in the process.
  • Both kinds of particles are conceived as arising through the formation of pairs and as reciprocally annihilating each other.
British Dictionary definitions for annihilating

annihilate

/əˈnaɪəˌleɪt/
verb
1.
(transitive) to destroy completely; extinguish
2.
(transitive) (informal) to defeat totally, as in debate or argument
3.
(intransitive) (physics) to undergo annihilation
Derived Forms
annihilable (əˈnaɪələbəl) adjective
annihilative, adjective
annihilator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin annihilāre to bring to nothing, from Latin nihil nothing
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 annihilating

annihilate

v.

1520s, from an obsolete adjective meaning "reduced to nothing" (late 14c.), originally the past participle of a verb, anihil, from Old French annichiler (14c.), from Late Latin annihilare "to reduce to nothing," from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + nihil "nothing" (see nil). Related: Annihilated; annihilating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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