- 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.
- to fall into ruin or decay.
Origin of dilapidate
Examples from the Web for dilapidation
We did not see the dilapidation, we did not smell the dirt, we did not feel the squalor.Riviera Towns
Herbert Adams Gibbons
Dilapidation is written everywhere in this Oriental atmosphere.Due West
Maturin Murray Ballou
Our Lady suffered this dilapidation because of the people's sins.The Merrie Tales Of Jacques Tournebroche
The roof was gone, and every thing was in a state of dilapidation and ruin.Rollo in Scotland
The speculation did not answer, and the house is now in a state of dilapidation.A Five Years' Residence in Buenos Ayres
George Thomas Love
- the state of being or becoming dilapidated
- (often plural) property law
- the state of disrepair of premises at the end of a tenancy due to neglect
- the extent of repairs necessary to such premises
- to fall or cause to fall into ruin or decay
Word Origin and History for dilapidation
early 15c., from Late Latin dilapidationem (nominative dilapidatio) "a squandering," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin dilapidare "throw away, squander, waste," literally "pelt with stones" (thus "ruin, destroy") or else "scatter like stones," from dis- "asunder" (see dis-) + lapidare "throw stones at," from lapis (genitive lapidis) "stone." "Taken in Eng. in a more literal sense than was usual in Latin" [OED].
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.