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From Latin dilapidātus, past participle of dilapidō (I destroy with stones), from dis (intensifier) + lapidō (I stone), from lapis (stone)


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /dɪˈlæp.ɪ.deɪt/, /dəˈlæp.ə.deɪt/
  • (file)


dilapidate (third-person singular simple present dilapidates, present participle dilapidating, simple past and past participle dilapidated)

  1. To fall into ruin or disuse.
  2. (transitive) To cause to become ruined or put into disrepair.
    • Blackstone
      If the bishop, parson, or vicar, etc., dilapidates the buildings, or cuts down the timber of the patrimony []
    • 1883, George Bernard Shaw, An Unsocial Socialist, chapter VI
      In the last days of autumn he had whitewashed the chalet, painted the doors, windows, and veranda, repaired the roof and interior, and improved the place so much that the landlord had warned him that the rent would be raised at the expiration of his twelvemonth's tenancy, remarking that a tenant could not reasonably expect to have a pretty, rain-tight dwelling-house for the same money as a hardly habitable ruin. Smilash had immediately promised to dilapidate it to its former state at the end of the year.
  3. (transitive, figuratively) To squander or waste.
    • Wood
      The patrimony of the bishopric of Oxon was much dilapidated.

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