- to reduce (an object) to useless fragments, a useless form, or remains, as by rending, burning, or dissolving; injure beyond repair or renewal; demolish; ruin; annihilate.
- to put an end to; extinguish.
- to kill; slay.
- to render ineffective or useless; nullify; neutralize; invalidate.
- to defeat completely.
- to engage in destruction.
Origin of destroy
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for destroy
But at the heart of this “Truther” conspiracy theory is the idea that “someone” wants to destroy Bill Cosby.Phylicia Rashad and the Cult of Cosby Truthers
January 8, 2015
“The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program,” the Times reported.Political Memes That Absolutely Must Die in 2015
January 1, 2015
Would he have been careful enough to destroy the odd pieces of jute you've left so messily about?Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
Anything less will mean than we are only slightly better as a nation than those who want to destroy us.Why the Muslim World Isn’t Flipping Out Over the CIA Torture Report
December 12, 2014
Whether or not beta-version wearables are your thing, some technology is just impossible to ignore (or destroy).Why Every Home Needs a Drone This Holiday
December 8, 2014
Nothing but the hand of man could destroy what he was destroying; but his hand shrank not, and it was done.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
It is a crime which, if persisted in, will destroy the Government itself.
They want their own poor way, and destroy the work of their hands by the sound of their tongues.
Some of us are only fit to destroy what is yet worse than ourselves.
To treat a child wholly as an adult would be to mock and destroy it.A Treatise on Parents and Children
George Bernard Shaw
- to ruin; spoil; render useless
- to tear down or demolish; break up; raze
- to put an end to; do away with; extinguish
- to kill or annihilate
- to crush, subdue, or defeat
- (intr) to be destructive or cause destruction
Word Origin and History for destroy
early 13c., from Old French destruire (12c., Modern French détruire) "destroy, ravage, lay waste," from Vulgar Latin *destrugere (source of Italian distruggere), refashioned (influenced by destructus), from Latin destruere "tear down, demolish," literally "un-build," from de- "un-, down" (see de-) + struere "to pile, build" (see structure (n.)). Related: Destroyed; destroying.