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destroy

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verb de·stroy \di-ˈstrȯi, dē-\

Simple Definition of destroy

  • : to cause (something) to end or no longer exist : to cause the destruction of (something) : to damage (something) so badly that it cannot be repaired

  • : to kill (an animal) especially because it is sick, injured, or dangerous

  • : to defeat (someone or something) easily or completely

Full Definition of destroy

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to ruin the structure, organic existence, or condition of <destroyed the files>; also :  to ruin as if by tearing to shreds <their reputation was destroyed>

  3. 2 a :  to put out of existence :  kill <destroy an injured horse> b :  neutralize <the moon destroys the light of the stars> c :  annihilate, vanquish <armies had been crippled but not destroyed — W. L. Shirer>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to cause destruction

Examples of destroy

  1. Eventually our problems with money destroyed our marriage.

  2. All the files were deliberately destroyed.

  3. The disease destroys the body's ability to fight off illness.

  4. The bomb blast destroyed the village.

  5. The dog had to be destroyed since its owner could not prevent it from attacking people.



Origin of destroy

Middle English, from Anglo-French destroy-, destrui-, stem of destrure, from Vulgar Latin *destrugere, alteration of Latin destruere, from de- + struere to build — more at structure


First Known Use: 13th century



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