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Back-formation from defenestration, from Latin de- (out) + fenestra (window).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /dɪˈfɛnɪstɹeɪt/
  • (US) IPA(key): /dəˈfɛnɪstɹeɪt/
  • (file)


defenestrate (third-person singular simple present defenestrates, present participle defenestrating, simple past and past participle defenestrated)

  1. (transitive) To eject or throw (someone or something) from a window; compare transfenestrate.
  2. (transitive) To throw out; to remove or dismiss (someone) from a position of power or authority.
    • 1998, Barry J. Fraser and Kenneth George Tobin, International Handbook of Science Education, Volume 2,
      The cultural historians of science 'feel the need to defenestrate science, or at least take it off its pedestal' (Pumfrey. Rossi & Slawinski 1991. p. 3).
    • 2001, The Economist, Volume 381, Issues 8498-8501, Page 42,
      Ever since he helped to defenestrate Richard Nixon in 1974, Mr Woodward has been a sort of super-reporter ...
    • 2004, Mary Carey and Kim Berquist, Writing from a Small Country: Anthology of the Creative Writing Club, Luxembourg:
      According to the guidebooks, they do it so strenuously that women would very much like to defenestrate the custom.
  3. (computing, transitive, humorous, slang) To remove a Windows operating system from a computer.
    • 1998 December 17, Darren Salt <>, "Re: Coding speccy games in the good 'ole days", message-ID <>, comp.sys.sinclair, Usenet [1]:
      This posting was written on a Windows 95 PC,
      Defenestrate it immediately. Install Linux. :-)
    • 2001 July 21, "Packet Rat" (pseudonym), "Judge Rat calls for a Microsoft defenestration", on GCN: Government Computer News:
      ◦ Enable one-click uninstalls of unwanted OS and application features with a Defenestrate icon.
    • 2007 May 16, Richard Stallman, speech, Free Software and Beyond: Human Rights in the Use of Software and Other Published Works,
      Now of course people who want freedom shouldn't use Windows at all, you've got to defenestrate your computer, which mean either you throw Windows out of the computer, or you throw the computer out the window.



See also[edit]




  1. second-person plural present indicative of defenestrare
  2. second-person plural imperative of defenestrare