To defenestrate something is to toss it out a window.
More loosely, to defenestrate something is to get rid of it, as if you're hurling it out the window.
dee FEN ist rate
Part of speech:
(Like “eat,” “try,” and “want,” all transitive verbs do something to an object.
You eat a banana, try a game, and want a new phone.
Likewise, you defenestrate something or someone.)
defenestrated, defenestrating, defenestration
How to use it:
"Defenestrate" is a silly word, so of course you use it to joke or to talk lightheartedly.
Literally, you might defenestrate a bug from your car or dramatically defenestrate your (now) ex's stuff from your house.
Figuratively, you might defenestrate an idea, an option, or even people (by firing them or breaking up with them or kicking them out of a game.) Just keep in mind, though, the silly nature of the word.
Use "defenestrated" for the adjective: a defenestrated talk-show host, a defenestrated mayor, a defenestrated chunk of bubblegum, etc.
If you can get through your first semester teaching without defenestrating a kid's cell phone, congratulations!
After scanning the entire page and then displaying an inexplicable error message for the ninth time, my scanner was very nearly a victim of defenestration.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "defenestrate" means when you can explain it without saying "toss" or "hurl."
Think of something you'd really like to change but not totally get rid of, and fill in the blanks: "(Thing, process, or idea) needs to be (changed in a certain way), not just defenestrated altogether."
Example: "The junk food I eat needs to be more carefully selected in lower quantities, not just defenestrated altogether."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, we're sampling questions from Orijinz, an awesome series of games about the origins of words, phrases, and quotes. Click here if you want to check them out. They're compact--perfect for stockings. Just saying. :) Try a question here each day this month, and see the right answer the next day. Have fun!
"Guess the word!
Origin: Latin for 'I forbid.' First used by Roman Tribunes to counter legislation of the Roman Senate.
Definition: To reject a law passed by another branch of government."
"The word is: Veto.”
"Guess the phrase!
Origin: The key word in this phrase is a fashion accessory that was made from very soft leather, such as goat or lamb skin. In the mid-19th century, it came to be associated with people considered delicate or refined.
Definition: To treat gently."
A Point Well Made:
Marco Denevi: “My guilt walks so slowly that forgiveness and oblivion always catch up with it.”
1. The opposite of DEFENESTRATE is
A. TOSS ASIDE
B. LIFT UP
C. YANK IN
2. _____ is a rollicking fun song about the joys of defenestration.
A. "Second Story Window"
B. "The Old Family Toothbrush"
C. "Low Bridge"
Answers are below.
To be a sponsor and send your own message to readers of this list, please contact Liesl at Liesl@HiloTutor.com.
Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
I've cracked up laughing while writing an issue only a couple times before. It was when I was thinking of examples for "cachinnate" and "raconteur." And today's word by itself really tickles my funny bone... I love that it exists. Enjoy!
Subscribe to "Make Your Point" for a daily vocabulary boost.