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[dee-fen-uh-strey-shuh n] /diˌfɛn əˈstreɪ ʃən/
the act of throwing a thing or especially a person out of a window:
the defenestration of the commissioners at Prague.
Origin of defenestration
1610-20; de- + Latin fenestr(a) window + -ation Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for defenestration
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The defenestration, in fact, only precipitated a conflict that was in any case inevitable.

  • Slavata immediately resolved on refuting this work, written by the originator of the defenestration.

  • A tablet stating that the defenestration had been planned here was placed on this house, but almost immediately removed.

    The Story of Prague Count Francis Ltzow
  • Many of the stormy meetings of the Bohemian nobles that preceded the defenestration of 1618 were held here.

    The Story of Prague Count Francis Ltzow
British Dictionary definitions for defenestration


the act of throwing someone out of a window
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin dēfenestrātiō, from Latin de- + fenestra window
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 defenestration

1620, "the action of throwing out of a window," from Latin fenestra "window" (see fenestration). A word invented for one incident: the "Defenestration of Prague," May 21, 1618, when two Catholic deputies to the Bohemian national assembly and a secretary were tossed out the window (into a moat) of the castle of Hradshin by Protestant radicals. It marked the start of the Thirty Years War. Some linguists link fenestra with Greek verb phainein "to show;" others see in it an Etruscan borrowing, based on the suffix -(s)tra, as in Latin loan-words aplustre "the carved stern of a ship with its ornaments," genista "the plant broom," lanista "trainer of gladiators." Related: Defenestrate (1915); defenestrated (1620).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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