de·​struc·​tion | \di-ˈstrək-shən \

Definition of destruction 

1 : the state or fact of being destroyed : ruin scenes of death and destruction the destruction of their careers

2 : the action or process of destroying something the destruction of the building

3 : a destroying agency Alcohol will be his destruction.

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Examples of destruction in a Sentence

War results in death and widespread destruction. We are trying to save the building from destruction.

Recent Examples on the Web

Meantime, neighbors and eyewitnesses described a weekend scene of destruction as flames rose from the Gasciogne Lumber Co. and Northwest Millwork operations along the ship canal between Puget Sound and Lake Union. Sara Jean Green, The Seattle Times, "Cause of massive North Queen Anne lumber yard fire remains under investigation," 13 Nov. 2018 The particle would plow through thin sheets of plastic in MoEDAL’s compartments, leaving permanent, ultrathin trails of destruction. Adam Hadhazy, Discover Magazine, "Scientists Hunt for A Seeming Paradox: A Magnet With Only One Pole," 13 Nov. 2018 His plan was thwarted in part by the Carrabelle Hurricane's destruction of the Fox, which carried many of his supplies. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Hurricane Michael Unearths Ships Destroyed in 1899 Hurricane," 22 Oct. 2018 Back in August, Emma shared a photo of herself in costume, standing in front of what looks like the Murder House — surrounded by destruction and bones. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Emma Roberts on the Creepiest Part of Filming "American Horror Story: Apocalypse"," 6 Oct. 2018 Some have violent storms that cause all sorts of destruction. Weldon B. Johnson, azcentral, "8 reasons to love the Phoenix heat in summer," 14 July 2018 The reality for Garrett and so many other children is pediatric cancer is an ugly, nasty beast that leaves a path of destruction. Makayla Tendall, ajc, "'See ya later, suckas!': Family writes unique obituary for 5-year-old cancer victim," 13 July 2018 Yet Colangelo’s role is muddled by the destruction of evidence. Michael Mccann,, "Could Bryan Colangelo Still Face Legal Consequences After Parting Ways With 76ers?," 7 June 2018 Many sloths are electrocuted by power lines, killed by cars and dogs, and displaced by habitat destruction as seemingly harmless as trimming trees. Kitson Jazynka, National Geographic, "Baby Sloth Reunited With Mom in Moving Video," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'destruction.' 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 destruction

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for destruction

Middle English destruccioun, from Anglo-French destruction, from Latin destruction-, destructio, from destruere — see destroy

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Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for destruction

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

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More Definitions for destruction



English Language Learners Definition of destruction

: the act or process of damaging something so badly that it no longer exists or cannot be repaired : the act or process of destroying something


de·​struc·​tion | \di-ˈstrək-shən \

Kids Definition of destruction

1 : the act or process of killing, ruining, or putting an end to something Destruction of the old building is underway.

2 : the state or fact of being killed, ruined, or brought to an end Destruction of the animal's habitat nearly caused its extinction.

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Comments on destruction

What made you want to look up destruction? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a nest or breeding place

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