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

Their home could be one storm away from destruction. Washington Post, "Rising waters in the Great Lakes puts endangered shorebird at greater risk," 17 June 2019 Illenium's signature phoenix rises from the destruction. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Illenium & Jon Bellion's 'Good Things Fall Apart' Is a Sci-Fi Adventure With a Message: Watch," 10 June 2019 When the dead and buried don’t petrify, there are other ways that save them from destruction and preserve parts of their bodies with little change over vast spans of geological time. Anna K. Behrensmeyer, Smithsonian, "How Do Fossils Form?," 8 June 2019 The law, enacted in 1971, aims to protect natural resources from destruction, including scenic, cultural and aesthetic resources. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "Neighbors ask court to stop charter school from demolishing former St. Andrew’s church building in St. Paul," 3 June 2019 Escaped imprisonment and rode south in an attempt to save the capital from destruction. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Brienne Meme Is the Best Thing to Come Out of the Game of Thrones Finale," 20 May 2019 The Crown of Thorns, which is considered the cathedral's most valuable relic, was saved from destruction along with a number of other items from the cathedral's treasury. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "What Caused the Massive Fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral?," 16 Apr. 2019 The project’s head engineer, Eugeniu Iordăchescu, is known for using a similar system of rails to save a dozen churches from destruction during Romania’s communist era. Jennifer Hattam, Discover Magazine, "How Engineers Move Massive Structures Without Breaking Them," 11 Mar. 2019 Only last-minute wrangling saved the international law-enforcement organization from certain destruction under the leadership of Alexander Prokopchuk, a Russian interior ministry official who is currently an Interpol vice president. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "Russia’s Latin American Offensive," 2 Dec. 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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Statistics for destruction

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

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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 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

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


to complain fretfully

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