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[dih-mol-ish] /dɪˈmɒl ɪʃ/
verb (used with object)
to destroy or ruin (a building or other structure), especially on purpose; tear down; raze.
to put an end to; destroy; explode:
The results of his research demolished many theories.
to lay waste to; ruin utterly:
The fire demolished the area.
Informal. to devour completely:
We simply demolished that turkey.
Origin of demolish
1560-70; < Middle French démoliss-, stem of démolir < Latin dēmōlīrī to destroy, equivalent to dē- de- + mōlīrī to set in motion, struggle (mōl(ēs) mass, bulk + -īrī infinitive suffix)
Related forms
demolisher, noun
demolishment, noun
half-demolished, adjective
undemolished, adjective
1. level, wreck, bulldoze. See destroy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for demolished
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Earthquakes in November and December of 1967 demolished 3,500 homes.

    Area Handbook for Albania Eugene K. Keefe
  • When they shall have demolished everything they will have advanced greatly!

    Doctor Pascal Emile Zola
  • As soon as the enemy drew off, Jack's men issued forth, demolished the wall, and filled up the trench.

    Samba Herbert Strang
  • In 1841 the place was demolished, and the site transformed as we now see it.

    Hampstead and Marylebone Geraldine Edith Mitton
  • He quickly attacked that, and in a few seconds had demolished a sufficient portion to enable us to creep through.

    The Two Supercargoes W.H.G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for demolished


verb (transitive)
to tear down or break up (buildings, etc)
to destroy; put an end to (an argument, etc)
(facetious) to eat up: she demolished the whole cake!
Derived Forms
demolisher, noun
demolishment, noun
Word Origin
C16: from French démolir, from Latin dēmōlīrī to throw down, destroy, from de- + mōlīrī to strive, toil, construct, from mōles mass, bulk
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 demolished



1560s, from Middle French demoliss-, present participle stem of démolir "to destroy, tear down" (late 14c.), from Latin demoliri "tear down," from de- "down" (see de-) + moliri "build, construct," from moles (genitive molis) "massive structure" (see mole (n.3)). Related: Demolished; demolishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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