verb (used with object), pul·ver·ized, pul·ver·iz·ing.

to reduce to dust or powder, as by pounding or grinding.
to demolish or crush completely.
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.

verb (used without object), pul·ver·ized, pul·ver·iz·ing.

to become reduced to dust.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for pulverize

Contemporary Examples of pulverize

Historical Examples of pulverize

  • They also harvest barley, which they pulverize before selling.

  • They could not pulverize him in the coffee-mill of criticism.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • I hope she may not pulverize Hartman as effectually as she does me: he might not take it so kindly.

    A Pessimist

    Robert Timsol

  • No other single tool does so much to pulverize the soil, as the harrow.

    Soil Culture

    J. H. Walden

  • The earlier the better, if you can pulverize the soil; otherwise not.

    Soil Culture

    J. H. Walden

British Dictionary definitions for pulverize




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

Word Origin for pulverize

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 pulverize

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper