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

What’s destructive, and eventually benumbing, is the kitchen-sink clutter of fantasy, reality, wish-fulfillment and glib enchantment. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘The Kid Who Would Be King’ Review: Some Brief, Shining Moments," 24 Jan. 2019 Peru’s years of soccer failures came as the country struggled to cope with political and economic crises as well as a destructive, and prolonged, guerrilla war with the Maoist insurgent group Shining Path. Tariq Panja, New York Times, "Peru Invades Russia. Well, at Least Many of Its Fans Have.," 16 June 2018 The steel colander had survived the most destructive fire in California history — no way to explain that. Scott Wilson, The Seattle Times, "Nearly a month after the Camp Fire began razing their towns, Californians return to ruin," 5 Dec. 2018 Wildfires have been destroying property and acreage in the state since November 8, when three destructive fires broke out. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Queen Elizabeth Sent a Message of Support for Meghan Markle's Home State of California," 17 Nov. 2018 The New York Times reports that the largest one—the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif., located in Butte County in Northern California—has become the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state’s history. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "The Dangerous Health Risks That Could Follow the California Wildfires," 16 Nov. 2018 Both Northern and Southern California are affected, with 2018 being one of the most destructive fire seasons in California history. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "Here's What You Can Do To Help People Who Have Lost Their Homes In The California Wildfires," 12 Nov. 2018 And a lot of Republicans who came from more purple seats believe that Trump was going to be destructive for their chances in getting reelected. Fox News, "Judge orders Fusion GPS to give deposition over dossier," 28 July 2018 The fire was perhaps the most destructive of several that broke out across Southern California amid oppressive heat that set records all weekend. Andrea Castillo, latimes.com, "'I have happy tears,' Goleta resident says after finding his home survived destructive wildfire," 9 July 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

10 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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