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Defenestration

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  • The word defenestration was coined to describe a very specific historic incident. We’ll examine the meaning of the word defenestration, the historic incident that spawned it and some examples of its use in sentences.

    Defenestration is the act of tossing a person out a window. Defenestration also has a figurative meaning, which is to dismiss someone from a place of power. The root word of defenestration is fenestra, which is the Latin word for window. The Latin prefix de- means away, down from. The word defenestration was coined to describe an incident that started the Thirty Years War. The Defenestration of Prague occurred in 1618 when Protestant radicals threw Catholic deputies to the Bohemian national assembly out a window. The people who were thrown out of the window survived, but the action opened the Thirty Years War, a European religious war during which eight million people were killed. Defenestration is a noun, the verb form is defenestrate. Related words are defenestrates, defenestrated, defenestrating.

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    Examples

    He was taken to a window and threatened with defenestration, and he was given electric shocks, regular techniques for the apartheid police. (The Daily Nation)

    But the defenestration of Fairhead has left bad feeling among some of the outgoing trustees, some of whom have told the Guardian of their “absolute outrage” over her treatment. (The Guardian)

    Before his defenestration, Michel Platini described it in 2015 as “a type of slavery” yet it took Uefa seven years to follow the FA’s lead in banning the practice in 2008. (The Telegraph)

    A lot of crazy things happened on the Game of Thrones season-six finale that aired earlier this week, with Tommen Baratheon’s spontaneous self-defenestration being one of the craziest. (Cosmopolitan Magazine)

     

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