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 The careless destruction of the Amazonian rainforest. Susan Goldberg, National Geographic, "We’re concerned about the Great Lakes—and you should be too," 17 Nov. 2020 Over the past century, these species have suffered because of pollution, the destruction and degradation of habitats, the diversion and pumping of water and competition from invasive species. Ian James, The Arizona Republic, "With world’s aquatic life at risk, scientists issue rare call to action on climate change," 31 Oct. 2020 Alternating spasms of conflict and peacemaking over the past 70 years have produced a tragic legacy of death, destruction, and disappointment for too many generations of Arabs and Israelis. Fortune, "Why now was the right time for Bahrain to normalize relations with Israel," 30 Oct. 2020 Brian Larue and Eric Murray each received several misdemeanor charges and three felony charges, including possession of weapons of mass destruction, conspiracy, and risking a catastrophe. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "2 charged after van full of explosives found in Philadelphia amid Walter Wallace protests," 30 Oct. 2020 The integrity of red blood cells relies on a host of factors, and G6PD activity is one of them; a deficiency of this red cell enzyme is infamously associated with red cell destruction (hemolysis) if an individual has eaten fava beans. New York Times, "Letters to the Editor," 23 Oct. 2020 The destruction of the statue coincided with Columbus Day — or Indigenous Peoples’ Day, for those who oppose the memorialization of European colonizers. Michael Willliams,, "S.F. archbishop to hold exorcism at site of toppled Junípero Serra statue in San Rafael," 16 Oct. 2020 The Ming arose in the 1360s, after the chaos and destruction of the Mongolian invasions. Tim Wu, The Atlantic, "How to Stop Innovation From Breaking America," 16 Oct. 2020 He was charged with theft $100 but less than $1,500, malicious destruction of property, trespassing, and issued multiple traffic citations. Washington Post, "Southern Maryland crime report," 14 Oct. 2020

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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Statistics for destruction

Last Updated

24 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Destruction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for destruction


How to pronounce destruction (audio)

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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