General English

Real Estate

  • verb to destroy a building or other structure completely, e.g. because it is unsafe or its land is needed for another purpose
  • verb to damage something so severely that it cannot be repaired or restored

Origin & History of “demolish”

To demolish something is etymologically to ‘deconstruct’ it. The word comes from demoliss-, the stem of Old French demolir, which in turn came from Latin dēmōlīrī ‘throw down, demolish’. this was a compound verb formed from the prefix -, denoting reversal of a previous condition, and mōlīrī, which among other things meant ‘build, construct’. This was a derivative of mōles ‘mass, huge mass, massive structure’ (source of English mole ‘harbour wall’ and molecule).