• synonyms


verb (used with object), pul·ver·ized, pul·ver·iz·ing.
  1. to reduce to dust or powder, as by pounding or grinding.
  2. to demolish or crush completely.
  3. Slang. to defeat, hurt badly, or, figuratively, render helpless: The Kid pulverized Jackson with a series of brutal lefts. He's a veteran nightclub comic who can pulverize any audience in seconds.
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verb (used without object), pul·ver·ized, pul·ver·iz·ing.
  1. to become reduced to dust.
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Also especially British, pul·ver·ise.

Origin of pulverize

1575–85; < Late Latin pulverizāre to reduce to powder, equivalent to Latin pulver- (stem of pulvis; akin to pollen) dust + -izāre -ize
Related formspul·ver·iz·a·ble, adjectivepul·ver·i·za·tion, nounpul·ver·iz·er, nounsub·pul·ver·iz·er, nounun·pul·ver·ized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pulverise

Historical Examples

  • He rose at once in his anger to answer him, to smash and pulverise him.

    The Strand Magazine, Volume I, Issue 2, February 1891


  • It is so soft that a gentle touch is sufficient to pulverise it.

  • He says the mills of the gods grind slowly, but they pulverise middling fine.


    Bill Nye

  • Pulverise and mix, and place in a retort of such size that the above matters will only half fill it.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • High explosive of the kind the Germans use will pulverise the parapet of a trench and kill every one within reach.

British Dictionary definitions for pulverise



  1. to reduce (a substance) to fine particles, as by crushing or grinding, or (of a substance) to be so reduced
  2. (tr) to destroy completely; defeat or injure seriously
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Derived Formspulverizable or pulverisable, adjectivepulverization or pulverisation, nounpulverizer or pulveriser, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Late Latin pulverizare or French pulvériser, from Latin pulverum, from pulvis dust
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 pulverise


chiefly British English spelling of pulverize (q.v.). Also see -ize. Related: Pulverised; pulverising; pulverisation.

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early 15c., from Late Latin pulverizare "reduce to powder or dust," from Latin pulvis (genitive pulveris) "dust, powder" (see pollen). Related: Pulverized; pulverizing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper