[ uh-nahy-uh-leyt ]
See synonyms for: annihilateannihilatedannihilatingannihilative on

verb (used with object),an·ni·hi·lat·ed, an·ni·hi·lat·ing.
  1. to reduce to utter ruin or nonexistence; destroy utterly: The heavy bombing almost annihilated the city.

  2. to destroy the collective existence or main body of; wipe out: to annihilate an army.

  1. to annul; make void: to annihilate a law.

  2. to cancel the effect of; nullify.

  3. to defeat completely; vanquish: Our basketball team annihilated the visiting team.

Origin of annihilate

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English adnichilat(e) “destroyed,” from Late Latin annihilātus “brought to nothing,” past participle of annihilāre “to bring to nothing,” from Latin an- an-2 + nihil “nothing” + -āre, infinitive suffix

Other words for annihilate

Other words from annihilate

  • an·ni·hi·la·tive [uh-nahy-uh-ley-tiv, ‐uh-luh‐], /əˈnaɪ əˌleɪ tɪv, ‐ə lə‐/, an·ni·hi·la·to·ry [uh-nahy-uh-luh-tawr-ee, ‐tohr-ee], /əˈnaɪ ə ləˌtɔr i, ‐ˌtoʊr i/, adjective
  • un·an·ni·hi·lat·ed, adjective
  • un·an·ni·hi·la·tive, adjective
  • un·an·ni·hi·la·to·ry, adjective

Words Nearby annihilate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use annihilate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for annihilate


/ (əˈnaɪəˌleɪt) /

  1. (tr) to destroy completely; extinguish

  2. (tr) informal to defeat totally, as in debate or argument

  1. (intr) physics to undergo annihilation

Origin of annihilate

C16: from Late Latin annihilāre to bring to nothing, from Latin nihil nothing

Derived forms of annihilate

  • annihilable (əˈnaɪələbəl), adjective
  • annihilative, adjective
  • annihilator, noun

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