Definition of destroy
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 a disease that destroys the body's ability to fight off illness … destroyed any hope of a return to past crackdowns … — George Brock
: to cause ruin or destruction it is proverbially easier to destroy than to construct — T. S. Eliot
Examples of destroy in a sentence
Eventually our problems with money destroyed our marriage.
All the files were deliberately destroyed.
The disease destroys the body's ability to fight off illness.
The bomb blast destroyed the village.
The dog had to be destroyed since its owner could not prevent it from attacking people.
Origin and Etymology 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
DESTROY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of destroy for English Language Learners
: 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
DESTROY Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up destroy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).