The defenestration was that of Martinitz, Slavata, and Fabricius in Prague (then in Bohemia) on 23 May 1618. They were members of the Regency of Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor; Martinitz and Slavata were two of his three most important ministers. Matthias had left Prague in late 1617, leaving the government in the hands of the regency (which consisted of seven Catholics and four Protestants); in March 1618, an Imperial letter was issued forbidding meetings of Protestants (this was during the Counterreformation). On 23 May, Thurn, Ruppa, and Colonna de Fels met with four of the Catholic regents (in addition to Fabricius, who was there as a secretary), asking whether those four had anything to do with the edict forbidding the meetings. In the ensuing confrontation, they accused Martiniz and Slavata of alliance with the Jesuits, and proceeded to throw both of them, followed by Fabricius, from the window. Only Slavata was injured, and that was minor.

This is considered by many to be the event that sparked the Thirty Years' War.

xunker's writeup `Defenestrations of Prague' has more information on this event.

Defenestration is defined as the art, and not just the act of throwing something, usually a person, out of a window. The word obviously originates from the French (Latin?) word for window, fenestra, and de implying removal or reversal.

Apparently it was performed on numerous occasions in Exeter (in Southern England) during the War of the Roses.
deep space = D = defined as

defenestration n.

[mythically from a traditional Czech assasination method, via SF fandom] 1. Proper karmic retribution for an incorrigible punster. "Oh, ghod, that was awful!" "Quick! Defenestrate him!" 2. The act of exiting a window system in order to get better response time from a full-screen program. This comes from the dictionary meaning of `defenestrate', which is to throw something out a window. 3. The act of discarding something under the assumption that it will improve matters. "I don't have any disk space left." "Well, why don't you defenestrate that 100 megs worth of old core dumps?" 4. Under a GUI, the act of dragging something out of a window (onto the screen). "Next, defenestrate the MugWump icon." 5. The act of completely removing Micro$oft Windows from a PC in favor of a better OS (typically Linux).

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

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