Definition of pulverize in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈpʌlvərʌɪz/
(also pulverise)


[with object]
1Reduce to fine particles: the brick of the villages was pulverized by the bombardment
More example sentences
  • Frozen snake liver was pulverized into a fine powder in liquid nitrogen.
  • In a spice grinder, combine star anise, nutmeg, cloves and cumin; pulverize to a fine powder.
  • The basis of most research in mainstream nanotech is the fact that some materials have peculiar or useful properties when pulverized into nanoscale particles or otherwise rearranged.
grind, crush, pound, crumble, powder, turn to dust;
mill, crunch, squash, press, pulp, mash, sieve, mince, mangle, chew, shred, macerate
technical comminute, triturate
archaic levigate, bray, powderize
1.1 informal, chiefly British Defeat utterly: he had a winning car and pulverized the opposition
More example sentences
  • South American powerhouse Argentina pulverized flat-footed defenders to defeat Japan tonight for their sixth straight win over the Asian Cup holders.
  • The event organiser said: ‘He absolutely pulverised the opposition.’
  • But any doubts as to just how brilliantly Rock of Gibraltar had developed were dispelled in the Irish 2,000 Guineas when he pulverised the opposition at the Curragh.
defeat utterly, annihilate, beat hollow, trounce, rout, crush, smash, break, overwhelm, vanquish
informal hammer, clobber, thrash, whip, lick, paste, pound, crucify, demolish, destroy, drub, tank, take to the cleaners, wipe the floor with, make mincemeat of, blow out of the water, murder, slaughter, massacre, flatten, turn inside out
British informal stuff, marmalize
North American informal blow out, cream, skunk
US informal own





Pronunciation: /pʌlvərʌɪˈzeɪʃ(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • This document confronts the problem of the excessive concentration of land in large properties and the excessive pulverisation of little enterprises, often at the margins of the market.
  • Have they opposed the bondage, the pulverisation of human lives, produced by a system that places capital and profits above human need?
  • Back in the centre of the city I sat on a rare block of concrete that had escaped pulverisation and typed my story.


Pronunciation: /ˈpʌlvərʌɪzə/
Example sentences
  • It is a sort of denatured, homogenised product - as if all the musical notes had been thrown into some vast blender or pulveriser and had bled into each other.
  • Depending on the specific brand you buy, you can add pincers, pulverizers, shears, combi-cutters, wood cleavers, plate shears, and many others for metal and concrete shearing and for concrete cracking, crushing, and pulverizing.
  • Typical applications for alloy white irons include coal pulverizer and roller mill tires and tables, i.e., any place where abrasion is high and impact loading is low.




Late Middle English: from late Latin pulverizare, from pulvis, pulver- 'dust'.

  • powder from Middle English:

    Latin pulvis ‘dust’ is the source of pulverize (Late Middle English) as well as powder, which came into English via Old French poudre. If someone tells you to keep your powder dry they mean that you should be ready for action. Popular tradition attributes the advice put your trust in God, and keep your powder dry to the English statesman and general Oliver Cromwell (1599–1658). The combination of spiritual encouragement and practical measures is typical of him, but the line did not appear until the mid 19th century, nearly 300 years after his death, in an Irish ballad. In American English to take a powder is to depart quickly, especially in order to avoid a difficult situation. This may be based on the idea of a person fleeing down a road and raising dust as they go. Another theory is that it relates to a person taking a laxative powder and so having to rush to the toilet. A more genteel toilet-related expression is the euphemistic powder your nose, recorded since the 1920s.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pul¦ver|ize

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Related Words