destructive

adjective
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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Of all the destructive forces facing homeowners today—and that includes tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes—none is as menacing and damaging as the tiny termite. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Get Rid of Termites," 8 Jan. 2019 Credence is possessed by a dark destructive force known as an Obscurus, which Grindelwald hopes to use as a weapon against his nemesis, Albus Dumbledore. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "The biggest unanswered questions from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald," 26 Nov. 2018 But the album is also a powerful reminder that inner lives have consequences too, and destructive forces can take root in those unknowable interiors. August Brown, latimes.com, "Kamasi Washington's ‘Heaven and Earth’ proves jazz's vitality and political power," 29 June 2018 On this summer afternoon, though, its epic beam will focus on a tiny crumb of papyrus that has already survived one of the most destructive forces on the planet—and 2,000 years of history. Henrik Knudsen, Smithsonian, "Buried by the Ash of Vesuvius, These Scrolls Are Being Read for the First Time in Millennia," 26 June 2018 Perhaps because of this conception of the United States as an inevitably destructive force, a few Robert College graduates were happy about the weakening of America’s global power and prestige. Suzy Hansen, The New Republic, "“What Difference Is Trump for Us?”," 24 Apr. 2018 Thousands of breakthrough ideas are suffocated each day by the destructive forces of GroupThink. Josh Linkner, Detroit Free Press, "Are these 7 deadly workplace sins robbing you of your creativity?," 21 Apr. 2018 Torres tries to rescue his father, Alfred, from a swirl of destructive forces; Alfred struggles to keep a job, stay out of jail. Laura Pappano, The Christian Science Monitor, "Ivy degree – now what? Low-income grads struggle with careers, status," 30 Mar. 2018 Freeman continues: Trashing is not only destructive to the individuals involved, but serves as a very powerful tool of social control. Laurie Penny, Longreads, "Who Does She Think She Is?," 29 Mar. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of destructive

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

24 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for destructive

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

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More Definitions for destructive

destructive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of destructive

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

destructive

adjective
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

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Comments on destructive

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