de·​struc·​tion | \ di-ˈstrək-shən How to pronounce destruction (audio) \

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

But Baltimore’s application for federal assistance is still pending, and state and city officials are waiting to hear whether the Federal Emergency Management Agency needs further proof of destruction in the city. Sarah Meehan,, "Baltimore City not yet approved for FEMA flood assistance," 3 July 2018 Photos of the explosion's aftermath from Cleveland Fire show a stunning scene of destruction, with debris thrown all about the area. Eric Levenson, CNN, "Ohio house explosion leaves 1 dead, 1 injured," 10 June 2018 The girl was charged Monday with destruction of property after allegedly pelting a home on the 2000 block of Guy Way with eggs, police spokesman Cpl. Lauren Lumpkin,, "Girl charged after allegedly pelting Muslim family's home with eggs," 12 July 2018 The mutation of monsters from bizarre police reports into emblems of the community seems to go hand in hand with the destruction of small town economies by the forces of globalization and urbanization. Joseph P. Laycock, Smithsonian, "A Search for Mysteries and Monsters in Small Town America," 11 July 2018 Perez, 26, is on trial for three federal offenses, including arson and committing a hate crime, in connection with the destruction of the gold-domed mosque on Airline Road. John Maccormack, San Antonio Express-News, "Accused mosque burner’s own words part of trial," 10 July 2018 He was charged with malicious destruction of property and disturbing the peace. Washington Post, "Southern Maryland crime report," 28 June 2018 It is associated with the destruction of ego and union with God. Maija Liuhto, Longreads, "A Music So Beautiful the Birds Fell from the Trees," 28 June 2018 This administration appears to have no infrastructure, policy or plan in place to deal with the destruction of families seeking refuge or a new life in our country. Michael Boren,, "Trump's executive order does nothing to reunite the 2,000-plus children already separated from parents at U.S. border," 21 June 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

8 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for destruction

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

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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 How to pronounce destruction (audio) \

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

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a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

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