de·​struc·​tor | \ də̇ˈstrəktə(r), dēˈ- \
plural -s

Definition of destructor

1 : a furnace or oven for the burning of refuse : incinerator
2a : a device for destroying a missile or a part thereof at a desired time in its flight
b : an explosive device for enabling quick destruction of matériel to prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for destructor

Late Latin destructor destroyer, from Latin destructus + -or

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about destructor

Statistics for destructor

Cite this Entry

“Destructor.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on destructor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with destructor

Spanish Central: Translation of destructor

Comments on destructor

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


dull or mediocre

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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