[dee-fen-uh-strey-shuh n]

Origin of defenestration

1610–20; de- + Latin fenestr(a) window + -ation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for defenestration

Contemporary Examples of defenestration

Historical Examples of defenestration

  • Slavata immediately resolved on refuting this work, written by the originator of the defenestration.

  • Many of the stormy meetings of the Bohemian nobles that preceded the defenestration of 1618 were held here.

    The Story of Prague

    Count Francis Ltzow

  • A tablet stating that the defenestration had been planned here was placed on this house, but almost immediately removed.

    The Story of Prague

    Count Francis Ltzow

  • The defenestration, in fact, only precipitated a conflict that was in any case inevitable.

British Dictionary definitions for defenestration


  1. the act of throwing someone out of a window

Word Origin for defenestration

C17: from New Latin dēfenestrātiō, from Latin de- + fenestra window
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 defenestration

1620, "the action of throwing out of a window," from Latin fenestra "window" (see fenestration). A word invented for one incident: the "Defenestration of Prague," May 21, 1618, when two Catholic deputies to the Bohemian national assembly and a secretary were tossed out the window (into a moat) of the castle of Hradshin by Protestant radicals. It marked the start of the Thirty Years War. Some linguists link fenestra with Greek verb phainein "to show;" others see in it an Etruscan borrowing, based on the suffix -(s)tra, as in Latin loan-words aplustre "the carved stern of a ship with its ornaments," genista "the plant broom," lanista "trainer of gladiators." Related: Defenestrate (1915); defenestrated (1620).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper