To bomb a building, murdering all of the inhabitants, is an example of annihilate.
- to destroy completely; put out of existence; demolish: an atomic bomb can annihilate a city
- to consider or cause to be of no importance or without effect; nullify: to annihilate another's ambition
- to kill
- to conquer decisively; crush
Origin of annihilate; from Ecclesiastical Late Latin annihilatus, past participle of annihilare, to bring to nothing ; from Classical Latin ad, to + nihil, nothing
verban·ni·hi·lat·ed, an·ni·hi·lat·ing, an·ni·hi·lates
- a. To destroy completely: The naval force was annihilated during the attack.b. To reduce to nonexistence: “He had not just to hide his hunger; so as not to go mad he had to annihilate it” (Philip Roth).c. To defeat decisively: annihilated the league champions in the playoffs.
- Physics To convert (a subatomic particle) to energy or high-energy particles by annihilation.
- To be completely destructive.
- Physics To participate in annihilation. Used of particles and antiparticles.
Origin of annihilateLate Latin annihilare, annihilat- : Latin ad-, ad- + Latin nihil, nothing; see ne in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present annihilates, present participle annihilating, simple past and past participle annihilated)