de·​struc·​tive | \ di-ˈstrək-tiv How to pronounce destructive (audio) \

Definition of destructive

1 : causing destruction : ruinous destructive storm
2 : designed or tending to hurt or destroy destructive criticism

Other Words from destructive

destructively adverb
destructiveness noun

Examples of destructive in a Sentence

It was one of the most destructive storms in recent memory. She argued that the law was destructive of personal liberties. The school is concerned about the destructive behavior of a few students.
Recent Examples on the Web And a lot of times the snap judgments were very destructive. Natasha Pearlman, Glamour, 6 May 2022 The second is even more destructive: In this version, the site asks buyers for their personal key, which the scammers can use to steal the entire contents of their crypto wallet. Jacob Stern, The Atlantic, 3 May 2022 But that would be destructive to Comedy Central, and Noah is already in the big leagues with an 11 p.m. show. Bill Carter For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, 1 May 2022 Other residents have concerns about how the deer have been destructive as far as landscaping. John Benson, cleveland, 11 Apr. 2022 It is believed that engaging in this kind of behavior is as destructive as eating and drinking. Skyler Caruso,, 1 Apr. 2022 This process is less destructive to the environment than open-pit mining, Agusdinata wrote to USA TODAY. Bayliss Wagner, USA TODAY, 18 Mar. 2022 Drawing on these earlier traditions, today’s solidarity tourism groups push back against travel as a consumptive industry that can be environmentally and socially destructive. Zeb Larson, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Mar. 2022 Not all tech partnerships are destructive, however. Evan Nison, Rolling Stone, 11 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'destructive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of destructive

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for destructive

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The first known use of destructive was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near destructive



destructive distillation

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Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Destructive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for destructive


de·​struc·​tive | \ di-ˈstrək-tiv How to pronounce destructive (audio) \

Kids Definition of destructive

1 : causing great damage or ruin a destructive storm
2 : not positive or helpful destructive criticism

More from Merriam-Webster on destructive

Nglish: Translation of destructive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of destructive for Arabic Speakers


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