- of, relating to, or working with explosives: A demolition squad attempted to blow up the bridge before the enemy captured it.
- of or relating to tearing down or demolishing: Demolition work had begun on the old building.
Origin of demolition
- the act of demolishing or state of being demolished
- mainly military
- destruction by explosives
- (as modifier)a demolition charge
Word Origin and History for demolitionist
1540s, from Old French demolition (14c.) "demolition; defeat, rout," from Latin demolitionem (nominative demolitio), noun of action from past participle stem of demoliri (see demolish). Mencken noted demolition engineer for "house-wrecker" by 1936. Demolition derby is recorded from 1956, American English, defined by OED as "a contest in which old cars are battered into one another, the last one running being declared the winner."