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 central act of Gen. LeMay’s reign of destruction had been the incineration in one night of a thousand city blocks in downtown Tokyo—creating a glow which, it was said, could be seen 150 miles away. Paul Kennedy, WSJ, "‘The Bomber Mafia’ Review: Architects of a Firestorm," 30 Apr. 2021 Powerful hail, tornadoes and flooding swept the southern U.S. again Wednesday night, leaving behind a trail of destruction. Julia Musto, Fox News, "Tornadoes, baseball-sized hail slam the southern US," 29 Apr. 2021 Fortunately, the core path of a tornado, which contains the strongest winds, typically accounts for less than 10% of its overall zone of destruction. Brian Hastings And Roy Wright, al, "Ten years after the worst tornadoes in Alabama history, more must be done to strengthen our houses," 27 Apr. 2021 Markedia Wells, 39, and her two young sons survived a monster tornado that left a path of destruction through the heart of Tuscaloosa, but their house was twisted off its foundation. Jay Reeves, Star Tribune, "Pain, loss linger a decade after tornadoes hammer 6 states," 26 Apr. 2021 The report said foreign media had exaggerated the extent of the destruction and that replacement of damaged centrifuges at Natanz was progressing quickly. Washington Post, "Iran state television names suspect in Natanz nuclear facility attack," 17 Apr. 2021 These spasms of destruction are not, as their apologists maintain, relatively cost-free acts. Rich Lowry, National Review, "A Police-Involved Shooting Sparks an Instant Riot: The New Normal Response," 13 Apr. 2021 As the community began to clean up in the aftermath of the destruction, Ratner said that her business became intimately connected to the community’s disaster response. Melina Walling, Forbes, "For The Elderly, Climate Change Poses More Risks To Wellness," 12 Apr. 2021 Each tube is closed by a trap door that opens automatically when the torpedo is fired and closes the instant the torpedo has started on its journey of destruction. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "War Under the Sea: PM at the Beginning of Submarine Warfare," 8 Apr. 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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Statistics for destruction

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Destruction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 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.

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Comments on destruction

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