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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.
Synonym Study
1. See destroy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for demolished
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Oh, haven't I demolished some of those German sharpshooters!

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • It was a shell, which had demolished a chimney in the Rue Sainte-Barbe, near the citadel.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • When they shall have demolished everything they will have advanced greatly!

    Doctor Pascal Emile Zola
  • Cromwell demolished this castle after it fell into his hands.

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

    Hampstead and Marylebone Geraldine Edith Mitton
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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