Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To bring or fall into a state of partial ruin, decay, or disrepair.
  • transitive v. Archaic To squander; waste.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To fall into ruin or disuse.
  • v. To cause to become ruined or put into disrepair.
  • v. To squander or waste.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To bring into a condition of decay or partial ruin, by misuse or through neglect; to destroy the fairness and good condition of; -- said of a building.
  • transitive v. To impair by waste and abuse; to squander.
  • intransitive v. To get out of repair; to fall into partial ruin; to become decayed.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bring into a ruinous condition; impair or reduce to a state of ruin; especially, to ruin by misuse or neglect.
  • To waste; squander
  • To give the appearance of dilapidation to.
  • To fall into partial or total ruin; fall by decay.

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

  • v. fall into decay or ruin
  • v. bring into a condition of decay or partial ruin by neglect or misuse

Etymologies

Latin dīlapidāre, dīlapidāt-, to demolish, destroy : dī-, dis-, apart; see dis- + lapidāre, to throw stones (from lapis, lapid-, stone).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin dilapidātus, past participle of dilapidō ("I destroy with stones"), from dis ("intensifier") + lapidō ("I stone"), from lapis ("stone") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • If you are left alone, that quality of education you are boasting about will crumble and dilapidate.

    Obama, Peres and Colbert on the Persian New Year - The Lede Blog - NYTimes.com

  • The blatant lies of their elites continue to dilapidate the little crumbs that are still left, of what was once the "Great American Dream," - and has now become the "Great American Nightmare."

    Framing the $700 Billion Question

  • The church of Elgin had, in the intestine tumults of the barbarous ages, been laid waste by the irruption of a highland chief, whom the bishop had offended; but it was gradually restored to the state, of which the traces may be now discerned, and was at last not destroyed by the tumultuous violence of Knox, but more shamefully suffered to dilapidate by deliberate robbery and frigid indifference.

    A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland

  • In this manner innumerable low ruffians have obtained the estates and houses of their lords; but, faithful to their old habits and early origin, they abuse only what they possess; live in the stables, and convert the castle into a barn, a granary, a brew-house, a manufactory, or sometimes dilapidate it brick by brick, as their convenience may require.

    Travels through the South of France and the Interior of Provinces of Provence and Languedoc in the Years 1807 and 1808

  • They tax the country according to their pleasure, and dilapidate the estates of the

    A Legend of Montrose

  • They were too prone to dilapidate and destroy their dwellings; they were therefore required to pay for the locks, cupboards, and doors.

    The History of Tasmania , Volume II

  • Dumouriez grumbles and they dilapidate abroad: within the walls there is sinning, and without the walls there is sinning.

    The French Revolution

  • The story of the second, or scapegoat, Virgil would be much damaged by the character given to the real bishop, if there were anything in it to dilapidate.

    A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II)

  • It looks like Cheney/Bus Titus Pullo 11 minutes ago 11:24 AM "Iraq has been importing refined products since 2003 because of the dilapidate ­d refining sector and booming local demand."

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • Taking a middle point of time between the Parthian revolution and the fatal overthrow of Forum Terebronii, we may fix upon the reign of Philip the Arab, [who naturalized himself in Rome by the appellation of Marcus Julius,] as the epoch from which the Roman empire, already sapped and undermined by changes from within, began to give way, and to dilapidate from without.

    The Caesars

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Don't make me go all dilapidate on your sorry ass!

    May 2, 2008

  • Would make a good threat. E.g. 'I'm gonna dilapidate your sorry ass!'

    May 2, 2008

  • From the Latin, literally means take apart the stones.

    September 13, 2007