Meaning of defenestrate in English:


Pronunciation /diːˈfɛnɪstreɪt/


[with object]
  • 1 rare Throw (someone) out of a window.

    ‘she had made up her mind that the woman had been defenestrated, although the official verdict had been suicide’
    • ‘Playing the whole album might cause a hungover person to defenestrate themselves.’
    • ‘Later in the film, Richard, a gaunt, haggard, disease-ravaged poet defenestrates himself before the eyes of his best friend and former lover, the achingly frustrated Clarissa Vaughan.’
    • ‘He allegedly ordered the two male students to pick her up and throw her out the window. I've heard of students being suspended and expelled, but this is the first time I've heard of a student being defenestrated.’
    • ‘Those captured are killed by a variety of means: some are hanged, some are decapitated, some are drawn and quartered, some are defenestrated (thrown from upper floor windows), some are put into sacks and thrown into the Loire to drown.’
    expel, eject, oust, remove, dislodge, turn out, put out, force out, throw out, throw out on the streets, throw out on one's ear, drum out, drive out
  • 2 informal Remove or dismiss (someone) from a position of power or authority.

    • ‘the overwhelming view is that he should be defenestrated before the next election’
    • ‘Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, seen as modernising go-getters in their early years in office, had eventually to be defenestrated by their own colleagues to save their party's reputation.’
    • ‘Malema was defenestrated, but Vavi is still a loud voice within the alliance.’
    • ‘The reaction to what was seen as Hodgson's rather skewed perspective contributed to the campaign to have the manager defenestrated.’
    • ‘She was defenestrated and replaced by John Major.’
    • ‘At almost a stroke RBS's top management has been defenestrated.’
    • ‘Back in 1994 it was only a year away from scrapping its dividend, plunging into heavy losses and defenestrating several chief executives.’
    • ‘The Republican House members defenestrated the outspoken proponent of "moral values" then serving as speaker, and his would-be successor, too.’
    • ‘Word leaked that in his absence, Murphy would use her power as acting governor to do some deeper budget-cutting - and perhaps even to defenestrate a gubernatorial aide or two.’
    • ‘The state sector must be given greater powers to defenestrate uninterested or just plain bad teachers, which would put it on a par with the private sector.’
    remove, remove from office, remove from power, bring down, bring about the downfall of, topple, bring low, undo, depose, oust, displace, supplant, unseat, subvert, dethrone, disestablish, dissolve


Early 17th century (as defenestrated): see defenestration.