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[dih-lap-i-dey-tid] /dɪˈlæp ɪˌdeɪ tɪd/
reduced to or fallen into partial ruin or decay, as from age, wear, or neglect.
Origin of dilapidated
1800-10; dilapidate + -ed2
Related forms
nondilapidated, adjective
undilapidated, adjective
run-down, tumbledown, ramshackle, rickety.


[dih-lap-i-deyt] /dɪˈlæp ɪˌdeɪt/
verb (used with object), dilapidated, dilapidating.
to cause or allow (a building, automobile, etc.) to fall into a state of disrepair, as by misuse or neglect (often used passively):
The house had been dilapidated by neglect.
Archaic. to squander; waste.
verb (used without object), dilapidated, dilapidating.
to fall into ruin or decay.
1560-70; < Medieval Latin dīlapidātus, past participle of dīlapidāre to squander (compare dīlapidātiō disrepair), Latin: to pelt with stones; see di-2, lapidate
Related forms
dilapidation, noun
dilapidator, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dilapidated
  • Later years brought decline, as some districts became dilapidated domains of drug dealers and street people.
  • The slums were razed and dilapidated housing was replaced by high- income private housing and low income public housing.
  • The photographs, a mix of street scenes and interiors, show color-saturated stucco storefronts and dilapidated courtyards.
  • Moreover, despite his dilapidated garb and unkempt hair, he maintains a role of quiet authority.
  • It still stands, but in a very dilapidated state.
  • The dilapidated old building had been neatly painted, plastered and papered.
  • In many countries, equipment is now ancient and dilapidated.
  • It's one of the country's tremendous shames that we let the rail network get so dilapidated.
  • Our house is a dilapidated 1940s white wooden job with peeling paint and bars on the windows.
  • Around the house the sheds lay empty and dilapidated.
British Dictionary definitions for dilapidated


falling to pieces or in a state of disrepair; shabby


to fall or cause to fall into ruin or decay
Word Origin
C16: from Latin dīlapidāre to scatter, waste, from dis- apart + lapidāre to stone, throw stones, from lapis stone
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 dilapidated

"in ruins, broken down," 1806, past participle adjective from dilapidate.



1560s, "to bring a building to ruin," from Latin dilapidatus, past participle of dilapidare "to squander, waste," originally "to throw stones, scatter like stones;" see dilapidation. Perhaps the English word is a back-formation from dilapidation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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