Definition of annihilate in English:


See synonyms for annihilate

Translate annihilate into Spanish

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Destroy utterly; obliterate.

    ‘a simple bomb of this type could annihilate them all’
    • ‘a crusade to annihilate evil’
    • ‘Any one of these could destroy a city - annihilating hundreds of thousands of people in the process.’
    • ‘A three-month bombing campaign nearly annihilated the city, destroying its people and its wealth.’
    • ‘In the air, the US has concentrated its massive firepower on the Tora Bora area, using sophisticated bunker-busting bombs to seal or destroy caves and annihilate any opposition.’
    • ‘All that person wanted to do was destroy, to annihilate everything around her.’
    • ‘The anti-Japanese organizations have been dissolved, and all other civil and Internet anti-Japanese movements are being destroyed and annihilated.’
    • ‘These therapies help to annihilate the root cause of ailments and stimulate a person's natural healing power.’
    • ‘Once I got to the top, the master would take over and my enemy would be utterly annihilated.’
    • ‘He had come to alleviate their distress, to annihilate evil, to restore peace and justice; but I wondered if even he could ameliorate the morbid state of the planet in just eleven days.’
    • ‘As myriad examples show, annihilating a people also requires destroying - or allowing to be destroyed - the symbols of that people's history, community, and identity.’
    • ‘Once the remaining three ships were clear of the blast area they were annihilated by the burst from the destroyer's main gun.’
    • ‘Terrorist attacks that destroy thousands of lives and forest fires, which completely annihilate an area and leave many persons homeless and displaced, aren't uncommon nowadays.’
    • ‘Those who set themselves up to be nature's masters and possessors, and forget that they themselves are merely part of nature, destroy nature and, in the end, annihilate themselves.’
    • ‘Throughout their recollections you could hear in their voices the absolute belief that even if they were killed, even if their whole battalion was annihilated, that the Allies would still win the war.’
    • ‘Thus Pluto has come to signify enormous power that can release untold energy, destroy, or annihilate.’
    • ‘Because he was a king, Conrad continued to play a role in the Second Crusade, but the imperial army was annihilated and the Germans did not contribute significantly to what followed.’
    • ‘He writes, ‘These men are nothing buy warlords who are annihilating their own countrymen in return for a position in leadership and the ensuing dimes that will come as foreign aid.’’
    • ‘Archaeologists have found proof of the first ever use on British soil of a terrifying new weapon at the Battle of Killiecrankie, at which 2,500 Jacobites annihilated a force of 4,000 redcoats.’
    • ‘Dairying in the west will be virtually annihilated if the government adopts the recommendations of a strategic development plan which they have commissioned on the future of the industry in Ireland, a farm group has warned.’
    • ‘At the time the program began, there were only about 500 of the grazing animals left, because they had been virtually annihilated by hunters.’
    • ‘Diclofenac residues have virtually annihilated the Oriental white-backed vulture in Pakistan.’
    destroy, wipe out, obliterate, wipe off the face of the earth, wipe off the map, kill, slaughter, exterminate, eliminate, liquidate, eradicate, extinguish, finish off, erase, root out, extirpate
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    1. 1.1Defeat utterly.
      ‘the stronger force annihilated its opponent virtually without loss’
      • ‘Does the host team annihilate all opponents within three days and crush them by an innings or so?’
      • ‘Then, in 1986, the same year that Holmes was beaten by Michael Spinks, Tyson annihilated Trevor Berbick for the WBC crown.’
      • ‘Well don't bother annihilating them at the ballot box, just ban them instead.’
      • ‘Murikans get testy when we don't annihilate our opponents.’
      • ‘With spirits high despite the previous day's loss, Air Force showed determination and pulled together as they annihilated Navy in a strong win.’
      • ‘Winning away at Anfield, defeating Arsenal, annihilating Rangers home and away, all smack of a team capable of greatness.’
      • ‘In the end, they have all fallen in front of Jones - Montell Griffin beat him once via disqualification but was annihilated in their second meeting.’
      • ‘The consequences for the NNP were clear and simple: it had been annihilated as an electoral force in South Africa and the Western Cape, Selfe said.’
      • ‘We annihilated our opponents, and nobody could argue about it.’
      • ‘They annihilated Caragh in the semi final on Saturday before beating the hosts by 2-12 to 3-5 in Sunday's final.’
      • ‘As a young man, he made his name not in student politics but in wrestling, and now he uses words and more words to annihilate and humiliate his opponents.’
      • ‘This proved the best, probably only strategy in the end, and the film is finally as much about the bravery and tenacity of one gay man in the face of annihilating social forces as anything else.’
      • ‘The liberal and conservative parties stopped fighting in 1958 and agreed to share power while joining forces to annihilate all opposition to their two-party system.’
      • ‘With a quick smile to Ally, Trent got ready to annihilate his opponent.’
      • ‘Asus GameFace allows you to not only talk to your opponent, but see them cringe as you annihilate them.’
      • ‘The Clan kicked off their last season in the NAIA with a bang, annihilating the Puget Sound Loggers 39-0 at Swanguard Stadium Saturday, Sept.8.’
      • ‘Yet on July 23, Samak annihilated his opponents to win the Bangkok governorship with a record-breaking one million votes, almost twice the total of the other 22 candidates combined.’
      • ‘The reigning champion didn't just beat his opponents - he annihilated them.’
      • ‘Talk about wanting to annihilate opponents never wins friends and making insulting gestures at beaten teams will soon remove any lingering goodwill that the team enjoy.’
      • ‘There are other styles of play, such as Team Deathmatch, where the goal is simply to annihilate the opposing forces, and Capture the Flag, but they are far less popular, and the formats aren't as suitable.’
      trounce, defeat, beat, beat hollow, worst, best, overwhelm, rout, annihilate, bring someone to their knees
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    2. 1.2Physics Convert (a subatomic particle) into radiant energy.
      ‘When a particle and antiparticle are brought together they annihilate each other, converting all of their mass and energy into a burst of electromagnetic radiation, and sometimes into other particles.’
      • ‘The prefix anti is appropriate because an electron and a positron can annihilate each other, disappearing in a burst of energy.’
      • ‘An important proof of the QCD theory is provided by the collisions between electrons and their antiparticles, positrons, with very high kinetic energy, when they annihilate each other.’
      • ‘Each small black loop represents a photon creating an electron and a positron, which then annihilate one another and produce a photon, in what is called a virtual process.’
      • ‘A photon can temporarily become an electron and positron which quickly annihilate one another to reform the original photon.’
      • ‘One of the unique properties of positrons is that as soon as they make contact with electrons they annihilate to produce gamma rays.’
      • ‘When a positron encounters an electron, the two annihilate each other and are converted to two gamma rays, which can easily be detected and localized in the brain.’
      • ‘When a particle or atom of antimatter comes into contact with a particle or atom of normal matter, both are annihilated and energy is released.’
      • ‘They annihilate each other completely and the resultant energy is high end gamma ray radiation.’
      • ‘A single quark will be surrounded by a sea of continuously appearing and annihilating virtual pairs of quarks and antiquarks, and virtual pairs of gluons and antigluons.’
      • ‘Most people have heard that anti-matter annihilates with matter and gives rise to energy.’
      • ‘At this stage of the Big Bang, the tiny expanding Universe is filled with radiation creating pairs of particles and antiparticles, and pairs of particles and antiparticles annihilating back into radiation.’
      • ‘I'm not sure if the anti-matter and matter particles annihilating each other produces some kind of energy.’
      • ‘As you watch, you'll see some of the matter-antimatter pairs of electrons collide, annihilating each other and creating gamma-ray photons once again.’
      • ‘Whenever a particle meets its antiparticle counterpart, the two annihilate each other.’
      • ‘The problem with research in the field of anti-matter is that when the anti-matter elements touch matter elements they annihilate each other.’
      • ‘And so a billion particles of antimatter and a billion of matter annihilated each other and turned back into heat and one little teeny bit of matter was left over - and that's us.’
      • ‘Antimatter and matter annihilate each other on contact, so keeping antimatter around requires portable matterless containers, such as magnetic fields shaped into magnetic bottles.’
      • ‘These persistent structures are reminiscent of particles being created and annihilated in a quantum field theory.’
      • ‘The positronium in this proposed rocket would be shuttled from the fuel tank to the engine core, where it annihilates, producing two gamma rays that evaporate silicon carbide from the nearby surface.’



/əˈnīəˌlāt/ /əˈnaɪəˌleɪt/


Late Middle English (originally as an adjective meaning ‘destroyed, annulled’): from late Latin annihilatus ‘reduced to nothing’, from the verb annihilare, from ad- ‘to’ + nihil ‘nothing’. The sense ‘destroy utterly’ dates from the mid 16th century.