reduced to or fallen into partial ruin or decay, as from age, wear, or neglect.

Origin of dilapidated

First recorded in 1800–10; dilapidate + -ed2
Related formsnon·di·lap·i·dat·ed, adjectiveun·di·lap·i·dat·ed, adjective

Synonyms for dilapidated

run-down, tumbledown, ramshackle, rickety.



verb (used with object), di·lap·i·dat·ed, di·lap·i·dat·ing.

to cause or allow (a building, automobile, etc.) to fall into a state of disrepair, as by misuse or neglect (often used passively): The house had been dilapidated by neglect.
Archaic. to squander; waste.

verb (used without object), di·lap·i·dat·ed, di·lap·i·dat·ing.

to fall into ruin or decay.

Origin of dilapidate

1560–70; < Medieval Latin dīlapidātus, past participle of dīlapidāre to squander (compare dīlapidātiō disrepair), Latin: to pelt with stones; see di-2, lapidate
Related formsdi·lap·i·da·tion, noundi·lap·i·da·tor, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dilapidated

Contemporary Examples of dilapidated

Historical Examples of dilapidated

  • He was fatigued and dilapidated, but he had not caught Donald.

  • In the morning a dilapidated iron oil-cask was found in its place.

    The Einstein See-Saw

    Miles John Breuer

  • In Thebes, in Palmyra, his will and mind have become old and dilapidated as they.

    Essays, First Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • It was a big, old-fashioned dwelling, gambrel-roofed and brown and dilapidated.

    Cy Whittaker's Place

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • His dress suit of former days he had found much too dilapidated for use.

    The Portygee

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for dilapidated



falling to pieces or in a state of disrepair; shabby



to fall or cause to fall into ruin or decay

Word Origin for dilapidate

C16: from Latin dīlapidāre to scatter, waste, from dis- apart + lapidāre to stone, throw stones, from lapis stone
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 dilapidated

"in ruins, broken down," 1806, past participle adjective from dilapidate.



1560s, "to bring a building to ruin," from Latin dilapidatus, past participle of dilapidare "to squander, waste," originally "to throw stones, scatter like stones;" see dilapidation. Perhaps the English word is a back-formation from dilapidation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper