de·​struc·​tion | \ di-ˈstrək-shən How to pronounce destruction (audio) \

Definition of destruction

1 : the state or fact of being destroyed : ruin scenes of death and destruction the destruction of their careers
2 : the action or process of destroying something the destruction of the building
3 : a destroying agency Alcohol will be his destruction.

Examples of destruction in a Sentence

War results in death and widespread destruction. We are trying to save the building from destruction.
Recent Examples on the Web As prosecutors and news outlets released new videos and images, Americans gained a better sense of the violence, destruction and size of the mob that attacked the Capitol. Scott Macfarlane, CBS News, 7 Jan. 2022 Any food that contains palm oil contributes to deforestation, soil erosion and depletion, natural habitat destruction and higher carbon emissions, according to Pulde. Michelle Shen, USA TODAY, 5 Jan. 2022 After the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the destruction and loss of life focused the attention of the country. Washington Post, 5 Jan. 2022 Justice officials say more than 45 defendants have been charged with destruction of government property and 35 have been charged with theft. Chris Joyner, ajc, 3 Jan. 2022 The funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency is a welcome relief for the counties and towns still reeling from the storms, which caused destruction and deaths across multiple states. Lara Farrar, Arkansas Online, 25 Dec. 2021 The Proud Boys have also experienced a leadership vacuum, after Mr. Tarrio was arrested two days before the Capitol attack on charges of property destruction and illegally holding weapons. New York Times, 14 Dec. 2021 Panting, pacing, aggression, excessive barking, drooling, destruction and having accidents in the house may all be signs of anxiety. Lauren Kent, CNN, 14 Dec. 2021 The town of Mayfield has been an epicenter of destruction and attention in the wake of the tornadoes. Mary Ramsey, The Courier-Journal, 13 Dec. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'destruction.' 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 destruction

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for destruction

Middle English destruccioun, from Anglo-French destruction, from Latin destruction-, destructio, from destruere — see destroy

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Time Traveler for destruction

Time Traveler

The first known use of destruction was in the 14th century

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Statistics for destruction

Last Updated

17 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Destruction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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English Language Learners Definition of destruction

: the act or process of damaging something so badly that it no longer exists or cannot be repaired : the act or process of destroying something


de·​struc·​tion | \ di-ˈstrək-shən How to pronounce destruction (audio) \

Kids Definition of destruction

1 : the act or process of killing, ruining, or putting an end to something Destruction of the old building is underway.
2 : the state or fact of being killed, ruined, or brought to an end Destruction of the animal's habitat nearly caused its extinction.

More from Merriam-Webster on destruction

Nglish: Translation of destruction for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of destruction for Arabic Speakers


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