Sunday, April 25, 2010


Defenestration is the act of throwing someone or something out of a window. The term "defenestration" was coined around the time of an incident in Prague Castle in the year 1618. The word comes from the Latin de- (from) and fenestra (window or opening).

The act carries the connotation of forcibly or peremptorily removing an adversary, and is sometimes used in just that sense it also suggests breaking the windows in the process. Although defenestrations can be fatal due to the height of the window through which a person is thrown or throws oneself, or due to lacerations from broken glass, the act of defenestration need not carry the intent or result of death.

The term originates from two incidents in history, both occurring in Prague. In 1419 seven town officials were thrown from the Town Hall, precipitating the Hussite War. In 1618 two Imperial governors and their secretary were thrown from Prague Castle, sparking the Thirty Years War. These incidents, particularly that of 1618, were referred to as the Defenestration of Prague and gave rise to the term and the concept.