destructive

adjective de·struc·tive \ di-ˈstrək-tiv \

Definition of destructive

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

destructively

adverb

destructiveness

noun

Examples of destructive in a Sentence

  1. It was one of the most destructive storms in recent memory.

  2. She argued that the law was destructive of personal liberties.

  3. The school is concerned about the destructive behavior of a few students.

Recent Examples of destructive from the Web

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


DESTRUCTIVE Defined for English Language Learners

destructive

adjective

Definition of destructive for English Language Learners

  • : causing a very large amount of damage : causing destruction or harm


DESTRUCTIVE Defined for Kids

destructive

adjective de·struc·tive \ di-ˈstrək-tiv \

Definition of destructive for Students

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


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

readily predictable

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one-green-toy-robot-amidst-many-red-toy-robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!