[ uh-nahy-uh-ley-shuhn ]
See synonyms for annihilation on
  1. an act or instance of annihilating, or of completely destroying or defeating someone or something: the brutal annihilation of millions of people.

  2. the state of being annihilated; total destruction; extinction: fear of nuclear annihilation.

  1. Physics.

    • Also called pair annihilation . the process in which a particle and antiparticle unite, annihilate each other, and produce one or more photons.: Compare positronium.

    • the conversion of rest mass into energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation.

Origin of annihilation

First recorded in 1630–40; from French or directly from Late Latin annihilātiōn- (stem of annihilātiō ); see origin at annihilate, -ion

Words Nearby annihilation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use annihilation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for annihilation


/ (əˌnaɪəˈleɪʃən) /

  1. total destruction

  2. the act of annihilating

  1. physics the destruction of a particle and its antiparticle when they collide. The annihilation of an electron with a positron generates two or, very rarely, three photons of annihilation radiation . The annihilation of a nucleon with its antiparticle generates several pions

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