verb (used with object), liq·ui·dat·ed, liq·ui·dat·ing.

to settle or pay (a debt): to liquidate a claim.
to reduce (accounts) to order; determine the amount of (indebtedness or damages).
to convert (inventory, securities, or other assets) into cash.
to get rid of, especially by killing: to liquidate the enemies of the regime.
to break up or do away with: to liquidate a partnership.

verb (used without object), liq·ui·dat·ed, liq·ui·dat·ing.

to liquidate debts or accounts; go into liquidation.

Origin of liquidate

1565–75; 1920–25 for def 4; < Late Latin liquidātus, past participle of liquidāre to melt, make clear. See liquid, -ate1
Related formsnon·liq·ui·dat·ing, adjectivepre·liq·ui·date, verb (used with object), pre·liq·ui·dat·ed, pre·liq·ui·dat··liq·ui·date, verb, re·liq·ui·dat·ed, re·liq·ui·dat·ing.un·liq·ui·dat·ed, adjectiveun·liq·ui·dat·ing, adjective

Synonyms for liquidate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for liquidate

Contemporary Examples of liquidate

Historical Examples of liquidate

  • Where did you obtain the money that you applied to liquidate, or partially to liquidate, your debts?

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • Which the same being the case, I invite all to come forward and liquidate.

  • His throat was dry and he proposed to liquidate his unusual exertion.

    The Fighting Edge

    William MacLeod Raine

  • Now, my love, duty requires that I should at once begin to liquidate.

    Under the Waves

    R M Ballantyne

  • There was only one thing to do—root them out, liquidate them.


    Clifford Donald Simak

British Dictionary definitions for liquidate



  1. to settle or pay off (a debt, claim, etc)
  2. to determine by litigation or agreement the amount of (damages, indebtedness, etc)
  1. to terminate the operations of (a commercial firm, bankrupt estate, etc) by assessment of liabilities and appropriation of assets for their settlement
  2. (of a commercial firm, etc) to terminate operations in this manner
(tr) to convert (assets) into cash
(tr) to eliminate or kill
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 liquidate

1570s, "to reduce to order, to set out clearly" (of accounts), from Late Latin or Medieval Latin liquidatus, past participle of liquidare "to melt, make liquid or clear, clarify," from Latin liquidus (see liquid). Sense of "clear away" (a debt) first recorded 1755. The meaning "wipe out, kill" is from 1924, possibly from Russian likvidirovat. Related: Liquidated; liquidating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper