Definition of liquidate in English:



  • 1Wind up the affairs of (a business) by ascertaining liabilities and apportioning assets:

    ‘if the company was liquidated, there would be enough funds released to honour the debts’
    • ‘I always enjoy the arguments presented in favor of liquidating our business.’
    • ‘You can liquidate their business if they don't pay the money.’
    • ‘One woman was forced to liquidate her business for lack of funds.’
    • ‘The corporate raider said in a statement last week it intends to sell off or liquidate the business if no buyer comes forward, with the potential loss of 50 jobs.’
    • ‘Its retail business was ultimately liquidated in 2000.’
    • ‘The trustee's job is to liquidate bankrupt companies to repay bondholders.’
    • ‘Some have shut businesses and liquidated entire companies just to collect the cash in the till.’
    • ‘How is liquidating an Internet company different from dissolving any other type of company?’
    • ‘Launched in August, it employed 10 people but at a recent board meeting it was decided to liquidate the business because of failure to make enough money or find extra funding.’
    • ‘Management was threatening to liquidate the company if it did not receive adequate concessions.’
    • ‘Whenever one becomes insolvent, liquidate it and create a new one under new management.’
    • ‘Book value is the value of a company's assets if they were liquidated.’
    • ‘They worried that some newspaper organizations essentially, if unwittingly, are liquidating their businesses.’
    • ‘Organizations can be disbanded, and, indeed, frequently are, as when, for example, businesses are liquidated.’
    • ‘And she is still fighting the same ‘renegade’ IRS agent, who, she says, seems hell-bent on liquidating the business.’
    • ‘The first company is then liquidated, and its capital repaid to its shareholders.’
    • ‘They then liquidate the business and, hopefully, share out the profits.’
    • ‘In some cases employers have deliberately established shelf companies without assets, in order to avoid paying out entitlements when they liquidate their businesses.’
    • ‘Rather than handing it more taxpayer dollars, it should liquidate this railroad and allow private companies to salvage the potentially profitable routes.’
    • ‘In a liquidation, the holding company bond investors only recover what's left after the assets of the subsidiaries are liquidated to pay off the creditors of those subsidiaries - usually banks and trade creditors.’
    close down, wind up, put into liquidation, dissolve, break up, disband, terminate
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    1. 1.1[no object] (of a business) go into liquidation:
      ‘the company would have the strength to reorganize and not be forced to liquidate’
      • ‘After years of struggles and being unable to recognize the changing market, last October, it finally gave up the ghost and decided to liquidate.’
      • ‘Investing in a company that is liquidating is playing in a high-risk arena that can be lucrative when done right.’
      • ‘Since its members will likely get next to nothing if it liquidates, the committee is now seen as an ally to the airline's bid for survival.’
      • ‘Overwhelmingly, those businesses liquidate because of dynamic, control and business reasons.’
      • ‘Without the cost savings, it said it would be forced to liquidate by February.’
      • ‘If the point is reached where the financial returns are no longer attractive, your business will liquidate as your investors and lenders put their money elsewhere.’
    2. 1.2 Convert (assets) into cash:
      ‘a plan to liquidate £1 billion worth of property over seven years’
      • ‘As businesses liquidated inventories, they decreased their indebtedness to banks and acquired government debt.’
      • ‘But, until the assets have been liquidated and the resulting court cases completed, nobody knows what the final cost to shareholders will be.’
      • ‘The rails were pulled up, the assets liquidated, and the line abandoned.’
      • ‘It might sound plausible, ‘but what it really tells you is that the company is liquidating assets - and that's not good’.’
      • ‘The family liquidated their holdings in the company last October.’
      • ‘The consumer operation will keep running for a few weeks to liquidate inventory.’
      • ‘It has since ceased all operations in Mexico and liquidated its assets there.’
      • ‘Rather than go bankrupt, he liquidated the remaining assets from the failed project and paid off almost all of his debts.’
      • ‘The only way out from the deadlock situation is to liquidate the scandalous holding and start anew.’
      • ‘Even if it means selling off their valuable assets and liquidating their monitory investments to do so, it must urgently be done.’
      • ‘John Thomas Molson retired and liquidated the distilling assets his father had left him.’
      • ‘Based on the revised data for third-quarter gross domestic product, businesses liquidated inventories last quarter at the fastest rate in any quarter since World War II.’
      • ‘Many people are forced to reallocate household budgets away from spending on schooling and healthcare, to change their living arrangements, and to liquidate their assets in order to smooth consumption during a crisis.’
      • ‘If you sell, you liquidate an asset that might otherwise be a worry.’
      • ‘Police believe he has since liquidated his assets and transferred them to the Republic of Ireland.’
      • ‘Obviously, liquidators must follow the same rules you do when the inventory being liquidated is firearms.’
      • ‘The activity of the collateral is the speed at which it can be liquidated and converted into cash.’
      • ‘Also, speculators still had many units on hand and had been liquidating their holdings.’
      • ‘The finance giants have liquidated their assets, and their grand banking halls have found a new lease of life as dens of iniquity of a different sort.’
      • ‘All of the estate's assets have been liquidated.’
      convert to cash, convert, cash, cash in, sell off, sell up, realize
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    3. 1.3 Pay off (a debt):
      ‘the fund was raided for purposes other than liquidating the public debt’
      • ‘Sales of vast tracts of land belonging to religious houses and the former rulers also provided the capital needed to liquidate the debts of the ancien régime and establish state and public finances on a new and more solid basis.’
      • ‘He proposed that the first step towards liquidating the short-term debt should be through a limited issue of paper money by a National Bank.’
      • ‘One wonders how the inoperative council is supposed to generate the much needed finances to liquidate the debts.’
      • ‘If the Scottish parliament was jealous of its honour, the least it could have done was direct that the first year's pension money should be paid to Westminster to liquidate this debt.’
      • ‘He says that the first option he proposed was to sell its equipment and liquidate its debts.’
      • ‘During this period the German currency collapsed into hyperinflation, bankrupting entire sections of the middle class, but benefiting sections of industry which were able to liquidate their debts.’
      pay off, pay, pay in full, settle, clear, discharge, square, make good, honour, defray, satisfy, account for
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  • 2informal Kill (someone), typically by violent means:

    ‘nationalist rivals and critics were liquidated in bloody purges’
    • ‘All ‘former Trotskyists’ were to be tracked down and liquidated.’
    • ‘In the 1930s and 1940s they saw hundreds of thousands of their fellow members liquidated, without a murmur of opposition.’
    • ‘In course of time even some European states adopted terrorism to liquidate, wipe out and transplant unwanted peoples.’
    • ‘He destroyed what people fought for in 1917 and he physically liquidated many of the people who fought in 1917 because they carried the memory of the revolution.’
    • ‘He was principally concerned with liquidating all the Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto.’
    • ‘Based on the slightest suspicion, I would be totally isolated or liquidated.’
    • ‘After Mary's murderer brutally kills his cousin/accomplice and nearly liquidates McGee, Travis fakes his death at sea and covertly returns to Florida.’
    • ‘The offender got what he richly deserved and it is a shame more people like that are not liquidated by security guards, police and defence.’
    • ‘They point to the fact that, on top of the estimated six million Jews liquidated in the Final Solution, millions of gypsies, homosexuals, political radicals and Soviet prisoners-of-war also met their deaths in the ovens.’
    • ‘He said at the end if I asked another question he'd have me liquidated.’
    • ‘In principle, I'm sorry we didn't liquidate him.’
    • ‘Hardly noticed, they are liquidated in extermination camps.’
    • ‘I discuss the possibility of having him liquidated with elements of the intelligence community who are on-message, but we reluctantly agree he would be more trouble dead than alive.’
    • ‘On August 2, 1944, the SS liquidated the Gypsy camp and killed most of the remaining inmates in the gas chambers.’
    • ‘What if the man, who had liquidated her and been subsequently nabbed, were to be hanged for the justice he had meted out?’
    • ‘Sending out a kill squad to liquidate an innocent researcher would just prompt a lot of questions I didn't have any answers to.’
    • ‘If a Global Messiah emerges to popularise the practice of voluntary simplicity and the rejection of Hollywood, will he be liquidated by a robo-assassin?’
    • ‘From the moment you and your people are liquidated like so many dogs you have to retain your importance…’
    • ‘And it was at this very moment I resolved to kill her - liquidate her once and for all so that she could never become a challenge to me.’
    • ‘We should guard against emotionally driven demands to kill many bystanders in an effort to liquidate our enemy.’
    massacre, murder, butcher, kill, kill off, annihilate, exterminate, execute, eliminate, destroy, decimate, wipe out, mow down, cut down, cut to pieces, put to the sword, put to death, send to the gas chambers
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Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘set out (accounts) clearly’): from medieval Latin liquidat- made clear, from the verb liquidare, from Latin liquidus (see liquid). liquidate was influenced by Italian liquidare and French liquider, liquidate by Russian likvidirovatʹ.