Definition of annihilate in English:


Syllabification: an·ni·hi·late
Pronunciation: /əˈnī-əˌlāt


[with object]
  • 1Destroy utterly; obliterate: a simple bomb of this type could annihilate them all a crusade to annihilate evil
    More example sentences
    • Any one of these could destroy a city - annihilating hundreds of thousands of people in the process.
    • A three-month bombing campaign nearly annihilated the city, destroying its people and its wealth.
    • In the air, the US has concentrated its massive firepower on the Tora Bora area, using sophisticated bunker-busting bombs to seal or destroy caves and annihilate any opposition.
    destroy, wipe out, obliterate, wipe off the face of the earth; eliminate, liquidate, defeat
  • 1.1Defeat utterly: the stronger force annihilated its opponent virtually without loss
    More example sentences
    • Does the host team annihilate all opponents within three days and crush them by an innings or so?
    • Then, in 1986, the same year that Holmes was beaten by Michael Spinks, Tyson annihilated Trevor Berbick for the WBC crown.
    • Well don't bother annihilating them at the ballot box, just ban them instead.
  • 1.2 Physics Convert (a subatomic particle) into radiant energy.
    More example sentences
    • When a particle and antiparticle are brought together they annihilate each other, converting all of their mass and energy into a burst of electromagnetic radiation, and sometimes into other particles.
    • The prefix anti is appropriate because an electron and a positron can annihilate each other, disappearing in a burst of energy.
    • An important proof of the QCD theory is provided by the collisions between electrons and their antiparticles, positrons, with very high kinetic energy, when they annihilate each other.



Pronunciation: /-ˌlātər/
More example sentences
  • The annihilator of the hereditary peers has succumbed to the trade union barons.
  • War is… a destroyer and annihilator, in short, as an evil that strikes all, victor as well as vanquished.
  • By expanding as Lord Siva, the Lord becomes the annihilator of the universe when needed.


Pronunciation: /əˌnīəˈlāSHən/
More example sentences
  • For every billion annihilations - leaving a billion photons in their wake - a single hadron survived.
  • The lower rate compared to cold working is the result of dynamic recovery, i.e. reduced accumulation of dislocations because of annihilations and combinations.
  • In the 1950s Austrian engineer Eugen Sänger first suggested using positron-electron annihilations to power spacecraft.


late Middle English (originally as an adjective meaning 'destroyed, annulled'): from late Latin annihilatus 'reduced to nothing', from the verb annihilare, from ad- 'to' + nihil 'nothing'. The verb sense 'destroy utterly' dates from the mid 16th century.

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