[ uh-nahy-uh-leyt ]
/ əˈnaɪ əˌleɪt /

verb (used with object), an·ni·hi·lat·ed, an·ni·hi·lat·ing.

to reduce to utter ruin or nonexistence; destroy utterly: The heavy bombing almost annihilated the city.
to destroy the collective existence or main body of; wipe out: to annihilate an army.
to annul; make void: to annihilate a law.
to cancel the effect of; nullify.
to defeat completely; vanquish: Our basketball team annihilated the visiting team.

Origin of annihilate

1350–1400; Middle English adnichilat(e) destroyed <Late Latin annihilātus brought to nothing, annihilated (past participle of annihilāre) (Latin an-an-2 + nihil nothing + -ātus-ate1)


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/, adjectiveun·an·ni·hi·lat·ed, adjectiveun·an·ni·hi·la·tive, adjectiveun·an·ni·hi·la·to·ry, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for annihilate

British Dictionary definitions for annihilate

/ (əˈnaɪəˌleɪt) /


(tr) to destroy completely; extinguish
(tr) informal to defeat totally, as in debate or argument
(intr) physics to undergo annihilation

Derived forms of annihilate

annihilable (əˈnaɪələbəl), adjectiveannihilative, adjectiveannihilator, noun

Word Origin for annihilate

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