Definition of liquidate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlikwəˌdāt/


[with object]
1Wind up the affairs of (a company or firm) by ascertaining liabilities and apportioning assets.
Example sentences
  • Its retail business was ultimately liquidated in 2000.
  • One woman was forced to liquidate her business for lack of funds.
  • And she is still fighting the same ‘renegade’ IRS agent, who, she says, seems hell-bent on liquidating the business.
close down, wind up, put into liquidation, dissolve, disband
1.1 [no object] (Of a company) undergo liquidation.
Example sentences
  • Overwhelmingly, those businesses liquidate because of dynamic, control and business reasons.
  • If the point is reached where the financial returns are no longer attractive, your business will liquidate as your investors and lenders put their money elsewhere.
  • Since its members will likely get next to nothing if it liquidates, the committee is now seen as an ally to the airline's bid for survival.
1.2Convert (assets) into cash: a plan to liquidate $10,000,000 worth of property over seven years
More example sentences
  • The activity of the collateral is the speed at which it can be liquidated and converted into cash.
  • Even if it means selling off their valuable assets and liquidating their monitory investments to do so, it must urgently be done.
  • If you sell, you liquidate an asset that might otherwise be a worry.
convert to cash, convert, cash in, sell off, sell up
1.3Pay off (a debt).
Example sentences
  • If the Scottish parliament was jealous of its honour, the least it could have done was direct that the first year's pension money should be paid to Westminster to liquidate this debt.
  • One wonders how the inoperative council is supposed to generate the much needed finances to liquidate the debts.
  • He proposed that the first step towards liquidating the short-term debt should be through a limited issue of paper money by a National Bank.
pay off, pay, pay in full, settle, clear, discharge, square, honor
2Eliminate, typically by violent means; kill.
Example sentences
  • And it was at this very moment I resolved to kill her - liquidate her once and for all so that she could never become a challenge to me.
  • If a Global Messiah emerges to popularise the practice of voluntary simplicity and the rejection of Hollywood, will he be liquidated by a robo-assassin?
  • In principle, I'm sorry we didn't liquidate him.


Mid 16th century (in the sense 'set out (accounts) clearly'): from medieval Latin liquidat- 'made clear', from the verb liquidare, from Latin liquidus (see liquid). sense 1 was influenced by Italian liquidare and French liquider, sense 2 by Russian likvidirovatʹ.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: liq·ui·date

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