from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To pay off (a debt, a claim, or an obligation); settle.
  • transitive v. To settle the affairs of (a business firm, for example) by determining the liabilities and applying the assets to their discharge.
  • transitive v. To convert (assets) into cash.
  • transitive v. To put an end to; abolish.
  • transitive v. To put to death; kill.
  • intransitive v. To settle a debt, a claim, or an obligation.
  • intransitive v. To settle the affairs of a business or an estate by disposing of its assets and liabilities. See Synonyms at eliminate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To settle (a debt) by paying the outstanding amount.
  • v. To settle the affairs of (a company), by using its assets to pay its debts.
  • v. To convert (assets) into cash.
  • v. To do away with.
  • v. To kill.
  • v. To determine by agreement or by litigation the precise amount of (indebtedness); to make the amount of (a debt) clear and certain.
  • v. To make clear and intelligible.
  • v. To make liquid.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To determine by agreement or by litigation the precise amount of (indebtedness); or, where there is an indebtedness to more than one person, to determine the precise amount of (each indebtedness); to make the amount of (an indebtedness) clear and certain.
  • transitive v. In an extended sense: To ascertain the amount, or the several amounts, of, and apply assets toward the discharge of (an indebtedness).
  • transitive v. To discharge; to pay off or settle, as an indebtedness.
  • transitive v. To make clear and intelligible.
  • transitive v. To make liquid.
  • transitive v. To convert (assets) into cash.
  • transitive v. To kill; -- used mostly of governments or organizations killing their enemies.
  • transitive v. To dissolve (an organization); to terminate (an activity).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make clear or plain; clarify; free from obscurity.
  • To clear up; reduce to order or precision; settle the particulars of; adjust: as, to liquidate the affairs of a bankrupt firm. See liquidation.
  • To clear off; settle; pay: as, to liquidate a debt or a mortgage.
  • To make less harsh and offensive: as, to liquidate the harshness of sound.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. convert into cash
  • v. get rid of (someone who may be a threat) by killing
  • v. settle the affairs of by determining the debts and applying the assets to pay them off
  • v. eliminate by paying off (debts)


Late Latin liquidāre, liquidāt-, to melt, from Latin liquidus, liquid; see liquid.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin liquidus ("liquid, clear"). The sense "to kill" comes from Russian likviditet. (Wiktionary)


  • Liquidate liquidate liquidate is not going to lead us to an equilibrium point, either.

    Matthew Yglesias » Question for Stimuskeptics

  • They all agree, in fact, that the value of all property has gone down at least half, a loss, if the nation had to sell up -- which it has not, but has only to 'liquidate' -- of a sum greater than required to buy up all the slaves and set them free.

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  • Israel minister vows to 'liquidate' Gaza's Hamas rulers A SENIOR minister has warned that Israel will "liquidate" the Islamist Hamas-run government in Gaza following deadly weekend clashes that killed two Israeli soldiers. | Top Stories

  • TGR: Hedge funds and money markets have had to liquidate, which is causing a lot of turmoil. Home Page

  • That's why Bush is going to meet with his Plunge Protection Team to prop up the markets tomorrow, and that's why the Fed guaranteed the Bear Stearns shitpile that JP Morgan helped "liquidate" at $2 dollars/share.

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  • And, despite constant complaints about CH-146 Griffons as military helicopters, there's been no moves to 'liquidate' these assets on a healthy civilian market for this type.

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  • In October, a former Saakashvili ally and defense minister, Irakli Okruashvili, accused the President of seeking to "liquidate" Georgia's leading businessman, Badri Patarkatsishvili.

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  • These were the same men who had held, and still held, positions of absolute power; the gift to steal or "liquidate" at the lightest whim.


  • Revolutionaries have attempted in such circumstances to "liquidate" all the opposition, but it is doubtful that they have ever been completely successful in doing so.

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  • Chinese Emperor from Peking to "liquidate" the Living Buddha, -- a small white old fellow with a deeply wrinkled face, a curl of white hairs on his chin and with vivacious eyes that were ever shifting inquiringly about him.

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