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 Mariah claimed Morgan proved a destructive force both in her childhood and adulthood. Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, "Mariah Carey's brother joins sister in suing pop star for emotional distress caused by memoir," 4 Mar. 2021 This mind-set has become alarmingly familiar to law enforcement officials now reckoning with the destructive force of conspiracy theories that mutate endlessly online and played a role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Steve Cavendish, Star Tribune, "Behind the Nashville bombing, a conspiracy theorist," 24 Feb. 2021 This mind-set has become alarmingly familiar to law enforcement officials now reckoning with the destructive force of conspiracy theories that mutate endlessly online and played a role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. New York Times, "Behind the Nashville Bombing, a Conspiracy Theorist Stewing About the Government," 24 Feb. 2021 Here, fire is seen as an element of rejuvenation and rebirth, not as a destructive force. Matt Wyatt, ExpressNews.com, "The end of a year of fire at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge," 7 Jan. 2021 The coolant doesn’t ever boil, Oak Ridge National Laboratory explains, which means the reactor is at low pressure and could never reach explosive destructive force. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "These 5 Advanced Nuclear Reactors Will Shape the Future of Energy," 5 Jan. 2021 Ricardo Jalad, who heads the government’s disaster-response agency, said the typhoon’s destructive force can cause major damage. Fox News, "Super typhoon batters Philippines, 1 million in shelters," 1 Nov. 2020 Ricardo Jalad, who heads the government’s disaster-response agency, said the typhoon’s destructive force was capable of causing major damage. NBC News, "Super typhoon Goni weakens after slamming Philippines, at least 7 dead," 1 Nov. 2020 That view of Trump as a quintessentially American renegade - one in a series of rebels without a cause - has nudged Singer toward the view that the president is not simply a destructive force or, as Trump sees himself, a disrupter. Marc Fisher, Anchorage Daily News, "To many Americans, the future looks dark if the other side wins the election," 25 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for destructive

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for destructive

Last Updated

13 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Destructive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/destructive. Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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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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