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[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.
Origin of dilapidate
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 dilapidation
  • Yet all this was apart from any extraordinary dilapidation.
  • What is striking is the level of total dilapidation.
  • Even government buildings have reached advanced stages of dilapidation.
  • His over-all dilapidation was more familiar than alarming.
  • The other surveys have never collected data on dilapidation.
  • The probability towards deterioration and dilapidation increases turning the housing unit into a substandard quality environment.
  • The second concern is the overall state of dilapidation and disinvestment found throughout the inner city neighborhoods.
  • The tape showed various portions of the building in a state of dilapidation.
  • The company has considerable experience in dilapidation survey and heavy civil engineering work.
  • We recommend that the existing works be preserved from dilapidation, and consider nothing more necessary.
British Dictionary definitions for dilapidation


the state of being or becoming dilapidated
(often pl) (property law)
  1. the state of disrepair of premises at the end of a tenancy due to neglect
  2. the extent of repairs necessary to such premises
Derived Forms
dilapidator, noun


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 dilapidation

early 15c., from Late Latin dilapidationem (nominative dilapidatio) "a squandering," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin dilapidare "throw away, squander, waste," literally "pelt with stones" (thus "ruin, destroy") or else "scatter like stones," from dis- "asunder" (see dis-) + lapidare "throw stones at," from lapis (genitive lapidis) "stone." "Taken in Eng. in a more literal sense than was usual in Latin" [OED].



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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