defenestration love


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An act of throwing someone or something out of a window.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of throwing out of the window: as, the defenestration of Prague in 1618, when Bohemian insurgents broke up a meeting of imperial commissioners and threw two of their number out of the window, an act which preluded the Thirty Years' war.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun the act of throwing (something or someone) out of a window.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The act of throwing something, or someone, out of a window.
  • noun UK High profile removal of a person from an organization.
  • noun neologism, humorous The act of removing the Microsoft Windows operating system from a computer in order to install an alternative one.

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

  • noun the act of throwing someone or something out of a window


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

[From de– + Latin fenestra, window.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

First attested circa 17th century, from Latin  ("from, out") + fenestra ("window"), historically, it was used as an act of political dissent, notably the Defenestrations of Prague.


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  • The window smashes. You feel the wind whistle past you. It all ends. Somewhere, in your last flicker of conscious thought, you realise that there is a word for your death, and you are at peace.

    December 3, 2006

  • For some reason people really like this word. I first heard it many years ago and sometimes people use it just for the sake of using it.

    December 3, 2006

  • Death by defenestration. A beautiful way to go.

    December 5, 2006

  • Somehow threatening to "self-defenestrate" is a lot funnier than saying you're going to toss yourself out the window.

    December 6, 2006

  • I love that the first recorded use of this word (1620) is the act of defenestration that was a precursor to the 30-years war. It's nearly four hundred years old, and yet it sounds like somebody made it up last year.

    December 6, 2006

  • Maybe a decade ago, when the town I live in was a rougher place, a guy here was killed in a bar fight because he was refenestrated. After being thrown out a window, the guys he was fighting followed him out, and threw him back in. It was the return trip, apparently, that killed him.

    December 13, 2006

  • defenestrated through time

    January 2, 2007

  • See the Wikipedia article on this practice--shows how both horrendous and comical defenestration can be. "Catholics ascribed the survival of those defenestrated at Prague Castle in 1618 to divine intervention, while Protestants claimed that it was due to their landing in a large pile of manure."

    January 5, 2007

  • I would like to point out that there have been two historical defenestrations of Prague. It is quite possible that certain groups of people are more prone to throwing other groups of people out of windows.

    January 19, 2007

  • At 6.30 on the morning of Wednesday, March 10th, 1948, the body of foreign minister Jan Masaryk was found lying in the cobbled courtyard below the window of his official flat in the palace. Whether he jumped to his death or was pushed in one of Prague's notorious defenestrations has never been conclusively established. He was sixty-one years old.

    February 19, 2007

  • Prague never knew what hit it.

    May 20, 2007

  • Patrick Leigh Fermor writes eloquently about the multiple defenestrations and depontifications (throwing people of bridges) of Prague in Between the Woods and the Water. That book also has more impressive architectural terms than the whole of The Name of the Rose. And I think he learned Magyar for good measure...

    June 14, 2007

  • Is this the most popular word on Wordie? Must be close. Would anyone care to speculate why?

    December 30, 2007

  • I suspect, bilby, that it's because the act it describes is so singularly rare. We don't have a word like "deportification" to describe the more common occurrence of throwing people out of doors, for example. (Although, see deponticate...]

    December 30, 2007

  • The list of the most popular words is Wordie Top 100 words .

    December 31, 2007

  • Clearly, we Wordies are a ghoulish people.

    December 31, 2007

  • maybe deportification would mean throwing people out portholes. Which I suspect would be more rare than defenestration.

    January 23, 2008

  • While visiting my family recently, my dad told me that a domestic dispute in a second floor flat near our house resulted in someone being thrown out of a window, suffering serious injuries (though they did survive).

    I felt a bit bad about taking glee in actually being able to use this word in its correct context. (Hang on, that's schadenfreude, isn't it?)

    February 4, 2008

  • It's now on facebook as one of the "poking" options. You can hug someone, hi-five them, etc. Or you can defenestrate them.

    March 12, 2008

  • I used to have a newspaper cutting, but I've lost it now. It told of two guys in hospital with broken necks or somesuch. They had both fallen out of the upper window of a bar. Witnesses said they were trying to see who could lean out the farthest. They were said to be laughing as they fell...

    June 21, 2008

  • In my mind defenestration is inexorably linked with Prague like boiled bacon and pease pudding

    June 22, 2008

  • Learnt of this from an ex about 12 years ago... Something tragic happened, and the deceased's doctor simply told him to get along with his life when queried on why the life could not be saved.

    Evidently, one can be tried & charged with defenestration in court.

    July 2, 2008

  • defenestration: Uninstalling Windows and installing Linux instead.

    (John Pascoe)

    July 23, 2008

  • The freshly flamed bags of poop became objects of defenestration, causing distress and frustration amongst the crowd; abused most were the brown splattered po-po's, causing them to ponder this very simple question: If monkeys could do it, does that mean we should, too?

    July 23, 2008

  • My name is Jack Parlabane and I'm pan-breid. Aye, that's right, don't kid on you can't understand the rhyming slang. And let me finish before you laugh - you'll get more out of it once you hear the details. Killed in a typically foolhardy endeavour (let's avoid the word 'undertaking', shall we?), death by defenestration, gravity finally delivering the ultimate skelp in the arse in revenge for my years of insolent defiance. A four-storey fall out of my own living room window. Ironic? Inevitable? Hilarious? Take your pick. Surprising? Not my call. I guess you could call it the ultimate humiliation. Certainly looked pretty fucking ultimate from my perspective. Actually, truth be told the fall itself isn't so bad, no matter the height. It's that last inch that's a cunt.

    From 'Attack Of The Unsinkable Rubber Ducks' by Christopher Brookmyre.

    November 29, 2008