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.
Recent Examples of destroy from the Web
In strategic terms, the 1967 war created one new reality that could not be denied: Arab state weakness and the rapidly fading prospect of destroying Israel by force, even in phases.
By targeting hospitals, regime forces are destroying lifelines and forcing people out of their homes.
Many sent desperate text messages begging to be rescued and reporting that their homes had been destroyed, said Zia Alonto Adiong, an official in Lanao del Sur, one of the country's poorest provinces.
The attack, which took place on a road between the bus station and the provincial football stadium, damaged or destroyed about a dozen shops and several vehicles.
Authorities have set a goal of destroying 100,000 hectares of coca crops this year through a combination of manual eradication and voluntary crop substitution agreements with farmers.
Immunotherapy stimulates a person’s own immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells.
Over the years, countless voices have warned that women could never handle the demands of the infantry, and would destroy its all-male esprit de corps.
But Sam Millsap, a previous district attorney in Bexar County, told KSAT-TV in 2013 that medical records at the San Antonio hospital at one point were accidently destroyed, hampering efforts by investigators to prove their suspicions.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'destroy'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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
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