- liquidate (v.) 1570s, "to reduce to order, to set out clearly" (of accounts), from L.L. or M.L. liquidatus, pp. of liquidare "to melt, make liquid or clear, clarify," from L. liquidus (see LIQUID (Cf. liquid)). Sense of "clear away" (a debt) first recorded 1755. The meaning "wipe out, kill" is from 1924, possibly from Rus. likvidirovat. Related: Liquidated; liquidating.
Etymology dictionary. 2014.