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.

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 The flooding and delays resulted in the destruction of some farms’ entire crops, with more than half a billion dollars lost in corn and soybean production in Indiana alone. Julian Epp, The New Republic, 5 Nov. 2021 In a July 19 letter to UGA President Jere Morehead, the Linnentown group asked for an apology for the school’s role in the destruction of the neighborhood and urged UGA to create a memorial to Linnentown. Eric Stirgus, ajc, 29 Oct. 2021 When the war ended, a new government was forged not out of an attempt to reckon with the toll of death and destruction, but by burying the past under a 1991 amnesty law that paved the way for sectarian warlords to become sectarian political leaders. New York Times, 28 Oct. 2021 Making places where people live, work and travel resilient to the effects of extreme weather can minimize death and destruction that the climate crisis is already wreaking, the agency said. NBC News, 13 Oct. 2021 To believe not just in destruction, not just in accruing loss after loss after loss, but in counting blessings. Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review, 11 Oct. 2021 All the preparation paid off; the entire jump was filmed in just one take, resulting in the destruction of only one Razor bike. Michelle Bruton, Forbes, 9 Sep. 2021 Stephen Hawking once warned that contact with an extraterrestrial civilization could result in the inevitable destruction of our own. Nicholas Dirks, Scientific American, 10 Aug. 2021 The defense played for jurors video of that destruction, which was filmed by Zanin's stepdaughter. Eric Levenson, CNN, 10 Nov. 2021

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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Time Traveler for destruction

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

25 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Destruction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2021.

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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 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on destruction

Nglish: Translation of destruction for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of destruction for Arabic Speakers


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