De*mol"ish (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Demolished (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Demolishing.] [F. d'emolir, fr. L. demoliri, p. p. demolitus; de- + moliri to set a thing in motion, to work, construct, from moles a huge mass or structure. See Mole a mound, and Finish.]

To throw or pull down; to raze; to destroy the fabric of; to pull to pieces; to ruin; as, to demolish an edifice, or a wall.

I expected the fabric of my book would long since have been demolished, and laid even with the ground. Tillotson.

Syn. -- To Demolish, Overturn, Destroy, Dismantle, Raze. That is overturned or overthrown which had stood upright; that is destroyed whose component parts are scattered; that is demolished which had formed a mass or structure; that is dismantled which is stripped of its covering, as a vessel of its sails, or a fortress of its bastions, etc.; that is razed which is brought down smooth, and level to the ground. An ancient pillar is overturned or overthrown as the result of decay; as city is destroyed by an invasion of its enemies; a monument, the walls of a castle, a church, or any structure, real or imaginary, may be demolished; a fortress may be dismantled from motives of prudence, in order to render it defenseless; a city may be razed by way of punishment, and its ruins become a memorial of vengeance.

 

© Webster 1913.

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