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[lik-wi-deyt] /ˈlɪk wɪˌdeɪt/
verb (used with object), liquidated, liquidating.
to settle or pay (a debt):
to liquidate a claim.
to reduce (accounts) to order; determine the amount of (indebtedness or damages).
to convert (inventory, securities, or other assets) into cash.
to get rid of, especially by killing:
to liquidate the enemies of the regime.
to break up or do away with:
to liquidate a partnership.
verb (used without object), liquidated, liquidating.
to liquidate debts or accounts; go into liquidation.
Origin of liquidate
1565-75; 1920-25 for def 4; < Late Latin liquidātus, past participle of liquidāre to melt, make clear. See liquid, -ate1
Related forms
nonliquidating, adjective
preliquidate, verb (used with object), preliquidated, preliquidating.
reliquidate, verb, reliquidated, reliquidating.
unliquidated, adjective
unliquidating, adjective
1. discharge, clear, erase, cancel. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for liquidate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Where did you obtain the money that you applied to liquidate, or partially to liquidate, your debts?

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
  • Which the same being the case, I invite all to come forward and liquidate.

    A Waif of the Mountains Edward S. Ellis
  • His throat was dry and he proposed to liquidate his unusual exertion.

    The Fighting Edge William MacLeod Raine
  • Now, my love, duty requires that I should at once begin to liquidate.

    Under the Waves R M Ballantyne
  • There was only one thing to do—root them out, liquidate them.

    Empire Clifford Donald Simak
British Dictionary definitions for liquidate


  1. to settle or pay off (a debt, claim, etc)
  2. to determine by litigation or agreement the amount of (damages, indebtedness, etc)
  1. to terminate the operations of (a commercial firm, bankrupt estate, etc) by assessment of liabilities and appropriation of assets for their settlement
  2. (of a commercial firm, etc) to terminate operations in this manner
(transitive) to convert (assets) into cash
(transitive) to eliminate or kill
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 liquidate

1570s, "to reduce to order, to set out clearly" (of accounts), from Late Latin or Medieval Latin liquidatus, past participle of liquidare "to melt, make liquid or clear, clarify," from Latin liquidus (see liquid). Sense of "clear away" (a debt) first recorded 1755. The meaning "wipe out, kill" is from 1924, possibly from Russian likvidirovat. Related: Liquidated; liquidating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for liquidate



To kill

[1924+; based on Russian likvidirovat, ''liquidate, wind up'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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