Super Bowl Blowout: Dull Game, Epic Vocabulary!

Super Bowls don't always live up to the hype. But even if the game itself is boring, the words used to describe it are exciting.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. annihilate
    kill in large numbers
    Oklahoma annihilated Kansas State last year, but the Wildcats have won two straight in Norman.Seattle Times (Oct 10, 2016)
    Geek alert: There is a comic book villain named Annihilus, whose hobby is not knitting.
  2. blowout
    an easy victory
    Those blowouts led to a classic Super Bowl, though, won by Pittsburgh, 35-31.New York Times (Jan 23, 2017)
    This word originally referred to angry quarrels that likely involved blowhards.
  3. clobber
    defeat thoroughly and conclusively in a competition or fight
    In its three previous games this season against ranked teams, the Huskies clobbered then-No.Seattle Times (Jan 8, 2017)
  4. crush
    come out better in a competition, race, or conflict
    For the Cowboys, that last startling completion by Rodgers helped bring a crushing end to a sterling season.New York Times (Jan 15, 2017)
  5. decimate
    kill in large numbers
    Kiko Alonso is the only linebacker certain to return, and a secondary decimated by injuries needs attention.Washington Times (Jan 9, 2017)
  6. demolish
    destroy completely
    The Huskies demolished the Beavers 87-61 two weeks ago and hope to repeat that rare stellar performance at 8 p.m.Seattle Times (Jan 17, 2017)
  7. dominate
    be in control
    The game was dominated by the defenses, which frustrated most of the game’s drives on both sides.New York Times (Jan 9, 2017)
  8. drub
    beat thoroughly and conclusively in a competition or fight
    Gregg Williams, the Rams’ defensive coordinator, spoke with reporters for the first time since last week’s 49-21 drubbing by the New Orleans Saints.Los Angeles Times (Dec 2, 2016)
    With its short, sharp sound, drub almost sound like the pounding it represents.
  9. embarrass
    cause to feel self-conscious
    After an embarrassing 27-point loss to Albany, do the Retrievers run laps or just get a light rolled-up newspaper tap on their noses?Washington Post (Jan 23, 2017)
    The idea here is that a lousy team was masquerading as a good one. In a similar vein, sometimes people say a team that’s been exposed or embarrassed has been undressed.
  10. expose
    show; make visible or apparent
    Left tackle Nate Solder said the vulnerabilities that were exposed last week by the Texans isn’t always a bad thing.Seattle Times (Jan 20, 2017)
  11. pummel
    strike, usually with the fist
    The Raiders pummeled Laurel on Tuesday and DuVal on Friday to stay unbeaten against Prince George’s County competition.Washington Post (Jan 9, 2017)
  12. shutout
    a defeat in a game where one side fails to score
    The Packers were shutout in the opening half and trailed 31-0 before finally getting on the scoreboard.Reuters (Jan 22, 2017)
  13. thrash
    give a beating to
    “It was almost breathtaking,” he said of that Fiesta Bowl scene when Utah thrashed Pitt, 35-7.Washington Post (Dec 27, 2016)
    It’s fitting that thrash rhymes with crash and smash.
  14. thwack
    deliver a hard blow to
    On the upper field, coaches thwacked receivers in their midsections with oversized pads.Los Angeles Times (Aug 15, 2016)
    This can also be a sound effect for a blow or crash. Thwack! Thwack!
  15. trounce
    defeat in a competition, race, or conflict
    They trounced the Seattle Seahawks and advanced to a home playoff game against the Giants.New York Times (Jan 5, 2017)
  16. victimize
    cause someone to suffer some adverse circumstance
    The third-string goalie was victimized by some bad fortune and some defensive breakdowns.Washington Times (Dec 18, 2016)
  17. wallop
    defeat soundly and utterly
    His favorite game was probably 1935, four years before Union Station opened, when Alabama, one of the best teams he’s ever seen, walloped Stanford.Los Angeles Times (Dec 24, 2016)
    This was originally a word for something it rhymed with: a horse’s gallop.
  18. lopsided
    having one side lower or smaller or lighter than the other
    It tied for the most lopsided victory this season for Stanford.Seattle Times (Jan 13, 2017)
    This word originally referred to ships that were bigger or heavier on one side, which doesn’t sound like a recipe for staying afloat.
  19. rout
    an overwhelming defeat
    He was Seattle’s defensive coordinator during back-to-back Super Bowl appearances - one a rout of the Broncos, the other a heartbreaking loss to the Patriots.Washington Times (Jan 23, 2017)
  20. blitz
    defensive players try to break through the offensive line
    The Giants’ defense was energetic and disruptive, bottling up an explosive offense with aggressive blitzes.Washington Post (Jan 1, 2017)
    When comedian George Carlin compared football and war, this word was exhibit A.

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