Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for November 2, 2019 is:

dilapidated • duh-LAP-uh-day-tud  • adjective

: decayed, deteriorated, or fallen into partial ruin especially through neglect or misuse


Although extensive renovations would be needed to convert the dilapidated warehouse into apartments, Sam still thought it was a sound investment.

“The 11-by-16-foot room is a sun-washed garret, taller than it is wide, on the fifth floor of a dilapidated 19th-century commercial building on lower Broadway that the artist has rented since January.” — Alice Newell-Hanson, The New York Times, 20 Sept. 2019

Did you know?

Something that is dilapidated may not have been literally pummeled with stones, but it might look that way. Dilapidated derives (via the English verb dilapidate) from dilapidatus, the past participle of the Latin verb dilapidare (“to squander or destroy”). That verb was formed by combining dis-, meaning “apart,” with the verb lapidare, meaning “to pelt with stones.” Other English descendants of lapidare include the verb lapidate (“to pelt or kill with stones”) and the noun lapidary, which is used to refer to a person who cuts or polishes precious stones. Both words share as a root the Latin noun lapis, meaning “stone.” We also find lapis in the name lapis lazuli, a bright blue semiprecious stone.

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