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90s Slang You Should Know


[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
First recorded in 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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for dilapidated
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Any others should be torn down as a dilapidated structure of any sort is not only unsightly but a breeding place for rats.

    If You're Going to Live in the Country Thomas H. Ormsbee and Richmond Huntley
  • As she came nearer they could see that she was old and dilapidated.

    Jim Spurling, Fisherman Albert Walter Tolman
  • Then at last they turned up a dilapidated street and stopped in front of a small, weather-beaten house.

    Lost in the Wilds of Brazil James H. Foster
  • The father, clad in an old, dirty frockcoat, was seated on a dilapidated chair.

    Poor Folk Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • He broke off as he halted the car in front of a rambling, dilapidated house.

    Flappers and Philosophers F. Scott Fitzgerald
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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