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

The single largest insurance event of 2018 was California's Camp Fire, a destructive blaze which killed 85, burned 153,336 acres, and cost insurance companies $12 billion (the full cost of the damage was $16 billion). David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Global Warming Is Already Costing the Insurance Industry Historic Amounts," 17 Apr. 2019 Viola’s an easy sell—a badass, successful lesbian who projects confidence, but is also dealing (or not dealing) with her own destructive compulsions. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "'The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls' Is a Stunning Debut From Anissa Gray," 1 Apr. 2019 King Lear may be more than 400 years old, but Shakespeare’s tragedy—the story of a rash monarch blinded by ego and flattery, tangled in a destructive family drama, and brought down by his own bad judgment—seems to be more relevant than ever. Maureen Dowd, Town & Country, "Glenda Jackson as King Lear Is the Mad King For Our Age," 21 Mar. 2019 Oregon, Washington and Montana are among the states also prone to destructive blazes. Rani Molla, Recode, "Recent East Coast hurricanes have gotten more media coverage than California wildfires," 21 Nov. 2018 Hurricane Michael is intensifying and is set to strike the Florida Panhandle as a Cat 3 hurricane with dangerous, potentially catastrophic storm surge, destructive winds and flooding rain. Janice Dean, Fox News, "Hurricane Michael intensifying; set to strike Florida as a Cat 3 storm," 9 Oct. 2018 The show, filmed in South Korea, Mexico, Iceland, India, and more, follows the lives of eight characters plunged into each other’s lives (and minds) while they are collectively hunted by a destructive villain. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Travel Shows to Watch on Netflix Right Now," 4 July 2018 Please don’t feed your dog or cat outdoors where these destructive critters can get to the food. Margaret Lauterbach, idahostatesman, "Keeping our roses sweet requires a vigilant fight against bacterial cane blight," 29 June 2018 And shame on those of you who perpetuate this destructive clickbait. Colin Stutz, Billboard, "Tool's Maynard James Keenan Calls Rape Allegation a 'Despicable False Claim'," 28 June 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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Statistics for destructive

Last Updated

19 May 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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