de·​stroy·​er | \ di-ˈstrȯi(-ə)r How to pronounce destroyer (audio) , dē- \

Definition of destroyer

1 : one that destroys
2 : a small fast warship used especially to support larger vessels and usually armed with guns, depth charges, torpedoes, and often guided missiles

Examples of destroyer in a Sentence

The pamphlet describes alcohol as a destroyer of families.
Recent Examples on the Web Rubberneck to see the Lyndon B. Johnson, a massive Zumwalt-class destroyer, at the pier. Dyan Machan, WSJ, "Why Maine Is the Perfect Road-Trip Destination for Fall," 30 Sep. 2020 The Navy destroyer is adorned with the skull and crossbones of the Jolly Roger, from the flag to steel doors. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Reason Why This U.S. Navy Destroyer Flies a Pirate Flag," 25 Sep. 2020 The Delbert Black destroyer was supposed to be commissioned last year but it was damaged when another vessel crashed into it, causing a delay. FOX 35 Orlando, "U.S. Navy's newest destroyer named after fallen Florida sailor," 25 Sep. 2020 Lycorma delicatula, ruinous and beautiful, the size of your thumb and a destroyer of worlds. Marc Mcandrews, Smithsonian Magazine, "Can Scientists Stop the Plague of the Spotted Lanternfly?," 22 Sep. 2020 Colorado did not need Giants destroyer Nolan Arenado to pin Cueto with his first seven-run outing with San Francisco. Henry Schulman,, "Giants, Johnny Cueto have no fun against Rockies in loss to open final homestand," 21 Sep. 2020 While MUSVs could always be physically carried into those areas—think ships like the M/V Blue Marlin, which can lift an entire U.S. Navy destroyer—larger carrier ships would need to be leased for service, or even built for the Navy ahead of time. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Navy Is Hatching a Sea Train," 1 June 2020 It was planted at the home of Keith Gardner, 72, who served on a Navy destroyer and was an electrician who worked at the GM plant in Mansfield until the company shut it down in 2008. Darrel Rowland, The Enquirer, "Going Home: 'We still live in Mayberry.' Come along with me back home again to Ohio’s Trump Country," 15 Sep. 2020 In taking aim at the payroll tax, suspended as of September 1 by executive order, President Trump, wittingly or not, fired a shot at a profound and prolific destroyer of American jobs. Joseph W. Sullivan, National Review, "America’s Federal Robot Subsidy Hurts Workers," 8 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'destroyer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of destroyer

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for destroyer

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The first known use of destroyer was in the 14th century

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Statistics for destroyer

Last Updated

15 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Destroyer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for destroyer


How to pronounce destroyer (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of destroyer

: a small and fast military ship that protects bigger ships
: something that causes the destruction of something


de·​stroy·​er | \ di-ˈstrȯi-ər How to pronounce destroyer (audio) \

Kids Definition of destroyer

1 : someone or something that ruins or ends something
2 : a small fast warship armed with guns, torpedoes, and sometimes missiles

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