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[puhl-vuh-rahyz] /ˈpʌl vəˌraɪz/
verb (used with object), pulverized, pulverizing.
to reduce to dust or powder, as by pounding or grinding.
to demolish or crush completely.
Slang. to defeat, hurt badly, or, figuratively, render helpless:
The Kid pulverized Jackson with a series of brutal lefts. He's a veteran nightclub comic who can pulverize any audience in seconds.
verb (used without object), pulverized, pulverizing.
to become reduced to dust.
Also, especially British, pulverise.
Origin of pulverize
1575-85; < Late Latin pulverizāre to reduce to powder, equivalent to Latin pulver- (stem of pulvis; akin to pollen) dust + -izāre -ize
Related forms
pulverizable, adjective
pulverization, noun
pulverizer, noun
subpulverizer, noun
unpulverized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for pulverize
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • pulverize, mix, and rub well together in a mortar, and bottle for use.

  • I hope she may not pulverize Hartman as effectually as she does me: he might not take it so kindly.

    A Pessimist Robert Timsol
  • This is an esculent resembling arrowroot, which they dig, pulverize, and use as flour.

  • They could not pulverize him in the coffee-mill of criticism.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • pulverize a piece of alum the size of a walnut, dissolve it in one ounce of lemon juice, and add one ounce of alcohol.

    Our Deportment John H. Young
  • As a matter of fact, he's rather afraid of me, so you ought to be able to pulverize him.

    The Debit Account Oliver Onions
  • Take a clay pipe, pulverize your sample, weigh off twenty pennyweights, and place it in the bowl of the pipe.

    The A B C of Mining Charles A. Bramble
  • A good plow should not only turn the soil but should pulverize it as well.

    The First Book of Farming Charles L. Goodrich
British Dictionary definitions for pulverize


to reduce (a substance) to fine particles, as by crushing or grinding, or (of a substance) to be so reduced
(transitive) to destroy completely; defeat or injure seriously
Derived Forms
pulverizable, pulverisable, adjective
pulverization, pulverisation, noun
pulverizer, pulveriser, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin pulverizare or French pulvériser, from Latin pulverum, from pulvis dust
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 pulverize

early 15c., from Late Latin pulverizare "reduce to powder or dust," from Latin pulvis (genitive pulveris) "dust, powder" (see pollen). Related: Pulverized; pulverizing.

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



To defeat thoroughly; punish; clobber (1631+)

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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