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[dih-stroi-er] /dɪˈstrɔɪ ər/
a person or thing that destroys.
a fast, relatively small, warship armed mainly with 5-inch (13-cm) guns.
Origin of destroyer
1350-1400; Middle English destroiere (compare Old French destruiere). See destroy, -er1
Related forms
self-destroyer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for destroyer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "He is your mother's destroyer," he said, with a sad sternness.

    The Lion's Skin Rafael Sabatini
  • Intelligence had not been so sure the destroyer commander knew all about Stan.

  • But that is only a part of your punishment, destroyer of happiness and afflictor of many lives.

    The Missionary George Griffith
  • As a result of the attack on Dunkirk one French destroyer was sunk.

  • He muttered and rolled his eyes about—his chin jutted like the bow of a destroyer.

    Love and Lucy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett
British Dictionary definitions for destroyer


a small fast lightly armoured but heavily armed warship
a person or thing that destroys
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for destroyer

late 14c., "someone or something that destroys," agent noun from Old French destruire (see destroy). As a type of warship, 1893, originally torpedo-boat destroyer; the class name perhaps from the proper name given to one such ship in the U.S. Navy in 1882.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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