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From Medieval Latin liquidatus (liquid, clear), past participle of liquidare. The sense “to kill, do away with” is a semantic loan from Russian ликвиди́ровать (likvidírovatʹ), ultimately from Latin liquidus.


  • IPA(key): /ˈlɪkwədeɪt/, /ˈlɪkwɪdeɪt/
  • (file)


liquidate (third-person singular simple present liquidates, present participle liquidating, simple past and past participle liquidated)

  1. (transitive) To settle (a debt) by paying the outstanding amount.
    • 1779, William Coxe, Sketches of the Natural, Political and Civil State of Switzerland:
      Friburg was ceded to Zurich by Sigismund to liquidate a debt of a thousand florins.
  2. (transitive) To settle the affairs of (a company), by using its assets to pay its debts.
  3. (transitive) To convert (assets) into cash; to redeem.
  4. (law, transitive) To determine by agreement or by litigation the precise amount of (indebtedness); to make the amount of (a debt) clear and certain.
    • 1851, Hargroves v. Cooke, 15th Georgia Reports 321:
      A debt or demand is liquidated whenever the amount due is agreed on by the parties, or fixed by the operation of law.
    • February 27, 1759, Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, letter to his son (letter CXXVIII)
      If our epistolary accounts were fairly liquidated, I believe you would be brought in considerably debtor.
  5. (transitive) To do away with.
    • 1939 September, D. S. Barrie, “The Railways of South Wales”, in Railway Magazine, page 161:
      How far progress has been made in liquidating the locomotive stock of the old companies may be judged from the shrinkage in their numbers, by some 50 per cent. at the end of 1931, to about 35 per cent. in 1938.
    • 1976 April 17, Robert Davis, “Anngered”, in Gay Community News, page 5:
      Ann assumes that homosexual thoughts and experiences are evil and, if possible, they should be liquidated from consciousness.
  6. (transitive) to kill, destroy, eliminate (mostly for political or ideological reasons)
  7. (obsolete, transitive) To make clear and intelligible.
    • 1788, Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist, number LXXXII:
      Time only can liquidate the meaning of all parts of a compound system.
  8. (obsolete, transitive) To make liquid.


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]





  • IPA(key): /li.kwiˈda.te/
  • Rhymes: -ate
  • Hyphenation: li‧qui‧dà‧te

Etymology 1[edit]



  1. inflection of liquidare:
    1. second-person plural present indicative
    2. second-person plural imperative

Etymology 2[edit]


liquidate f pl

  1. feminine plural of liquidato




  1. second-person singular voseo imperative of liquidar combined with te