[uh-nahy-uh-ley-shuh n]
See more 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.
  3. Physics.
    1. Also called pair annihilation.the process in which a particle and antiparticle unite, annihilate each other, and produce one or more photons.Compare positronium.
    2. the conversion of rest mass into energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation.

Origin of annihilation

1630–40; (< F) < Late Latin annihilātiōn- (stem of annihilātiō). See annihilate, -ion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for annihilation

Contemporary Examples of annihilation

Historical Examples of annihilation

  • Chip's way of saying yes was one of his chief weapons of annihilation.

  • I—I—ugh, ugh, I know what you want:—a consolidation and annihilation of the States.

  • He clearly saw that the isolation of ideas or classes is the annihilation of reasoning.



  • The quietness that came over me was like a foretaste of annihilation.

    The Shadow-Line

    Joseph Conrad

  • To-night he had gone to bed sternly resolved on a while of annihilation.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

British Dictionary definitions for annihilation


  1. total destruction
  2. the act of annihilating
  3. 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

Word Origin and History for annihilation

1630s, from Middle French annihilation (restored from Old French anichilacion, 14c.), or directly from Late Latin annihilationem (nominative annihilatio), noun of action from past participle stem of annihilare (see annihilate).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper