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defenestration

Definitions

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

Etymologies

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.

Examples

Comments

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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