self-de·​struct ˌself-di-ˈstrəkt How to pronounce self-destruct (audio)
self-destructed; self-destructing; self-destructs

intransitive verb

: to destroy oneself or itself
self-destruct adjective

Examples of self-destruct in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And finally, there was a bunch of very cool security stuff, including a circuit that self-destructs. Stephen Cass, IEEE Spectrum, 20 Mar. 2024 Engineers activated a self-destruct mechanism while the ship was in mid-air. USA TODAY, 15 Mar. 2024 SpaceX engineers modified multiple systems in the wake of the failures, including work to beef up the rocket's self-destruct system, to improve engine performance and to protect the pad with a high-power water deluge system that also deadens the acoustic shock of engine ignition. William Harwood, CBS News, 14 Mar. 2024 This led to the engines shutting down early and the self-destruct system ending the mission. George Dvorsky / Gizmodo, Quartz, 27 Feb. 2024 The problem caused the spacecraft to self-destruct in space. Aashna Shah, Fortune, 26 Feb. 2024 The extract, which is taken from the cannabis sativa plant, damages certain harmful cancer cells and forces them to self-destruct, the researchers with Australia’s Charles Darwin University said, according to a Feb. 8 news release. Mitchell Willetts, Miami Herald, 15 Feb. 2024 Rather than exploring Venus, the vehicle was ordered to self-destruct shortly after liftoff. Allison Morrow, CNN, 14 Feb. 2024 The once faithful servant was ejected from the chariot just before the wax lynchpins gave way, and the chariot self-destructed. Mike Lynch, Twin Cities, 28 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'self-destruct.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1968, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-destruct was in 1968

Dictionary Entries Near self-destruct

Cite this Entry

“Self-destruct.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on self-destruct

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