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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dilapidation
Historical Examples
  • We did not see the dilapidation, we did not smell the dirt, we did not feel the squalor.

    Riviera Towns

    Herbert Adams Gibbons
  • dilapidation is written everywhere in this Oriental atmosphere.

    Due West

    Maturin Murray Ballou
  • Our Lady suffered this dilapidation because of the people's sins.

  • The roof was gone, and every thing was in a state of dilapidation and ruin.

    Rollo in Scotland Jacob Abbott
  • The speculation did not answer, and the house is now in a state of dilapidation.

  • Amid remains of former splendor, dilapidation and stagnation reign.

    Ginger-Snaps Fanny Fern
  • It had an air of dilapidation, but, withal, of comfort about it.

    The Rival Campers Ruel Perley Smith
  • The house was not modern and had fallen into a general state of dilapidation.

    Doris Force at Locked Gates Julia K. Duncan
  • At present it bears a stamp of dilapidation, poverty, and squalor.

    Saddle and Mocassin Francis Francis Jr.
  • Page 295: Missing "an" added (an advanced state of dilapidation).

    The Escaping Club A. J. Evans
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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