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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 demolishment
Historical Examples
  • From 1381 the year of its demolishment until 1509 it was little more than a ruin.

  • But he was thinking of the Jago as it had been—he had forgotten the demolishment.

    A Child of the Jago Arthur Morrison
  • He addressed himself to the demolishment of a ripe Cassaba melon.

    The Happy End Joseph Hergesheimer
  • On the corner of this street was a most charming old façade in process of demolishment, which we deplored.

British Dictionary definitions for demolishment


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 demolishment



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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