Meaning of liquidate


If you liquidate something, you get rid of it. When a huge retailer has to close all of its stores, it liquidates everything, meaning the inventory and even the shelves and display cases are sold to bargain-hunters, to raise money for the company to pay its debts.

Liquidate comes from the Latin liquidare, meaning “to melt,” or “to clarify.” A recipe might ask you to liquefy the butter, not liquidate it, because liquidate has to do with assets. To liquidate is to convert stocks or goods into cash by selling them, to finish business neatly, and to clear debts. If you liquidate your old baseball card collection, you will have money to put in your college fund.

Definitions of liquidate
  1. verb

    eliminate by paying off (debts)


    pay off

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    pay off (a mortgage)
    amortise, amortize

    liquidate gradually
    type of:

    ante up, pay, pay up

    cancel or discharge a debt

  2. verb

    settle the affairs of by determining the debts and applying the assets to pay them off

    liquidate a company”
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    type of:


    dispose of; make a financial settlement

  3. verb

    convert into cash

    “I had to
    liquidate my holdings to pay off my ex-husband”
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    type of:

    cash, cash in

    exchange for cash

  4. verb

    get rid of (someone who may be a threat) by killing

    “The mafia
    liquidated the informer”

    do in, knock off, neutralise, neutralize, waste

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    type of:


    cause to die; put to death, usually intentionally or knowingly

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