Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for destroyer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Up we rose; the wet air and spray spattered through the hatch; the destroyer swung off to retrieve the dummy.

    Sea Warfare Rudyard Kipling
  • Even man himself might at any moment appear as their destroyer.

    The Forest Exiles Mayne Reid
  • The destroyer, in the masterful way of these craft, proceeded to take charge of the operations.

    Submarine Warfare of To-day Charles W. Domville-Fife
  • In its action as a destroyer, it is the subject of Shakespeare's greatest plays.

    William Shakespeare John Masefield
  • They could move about three times as fast as a destroyer, and so quite often beat the destroyer to it.

    The U-boat hunters James B. Connolly
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for destroyer

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for destroyer

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for destroyer