Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To destroy completely: The naval force was annihilated during the attack.
  • transitive v. To reduce to nonexistence.
  • transitive v. To defeat decisively; vanquish.
  • transitive v. To nullify or render void; abolish.
  • intransitive v. Physics To participate in annihilation, as an electron and a positron do.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To reduce to nothing, to destroy, to eradicate.
  • v. To treat as worthless, to vilify.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Annihilated.
  • transitive v. To reduce to nothing or nonexistence; to destroy the existence of; to cause to cease to be.
  • transitive v. To destroy the form or peculiar distinctive properties of, so that the specific thing no longer exists.
  • transitive v. To destroy or eradicate, as a property or attribute of a thing; to make of no effect; to destroy the force, etc., of.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To reduce to nothing; deprive of existence; cause to cease to be.
  • To destroy the form or peculiar distinctive properties of, so that the specific thing no longer exists: as, to annihilate a forest by cutting and carrying away the trees; to annihilate an army; to annihilate a house by demolishing the structure; also, to destroy or eradicate, as a property or an attribute of a thing.
  • Annihilated.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. kill in large numbers

Etymologies

Late Latin annihilāre, annihilāt- : Latin ad-, ad- + Latin nihil, nothing; see ne in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin annihilō ("I reduce to nothing"), from ad ("to") + nihil ("nothing"). (Wiktionary)

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