- to destroy itself or oneself: The missile is built so that a malfunction will cause it to self-destruct.
- to cause itself or oneself to reach a state of collapse, dysfunction, confusion, or the like: The committee is so disorganized it will probably self-destruct before it can accomplish anything.
- causing something to self-destruct: a self-destruct mechanism.
Origin of self-destruct
An Americanism dating back to 1965–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for self-destruct
Because of its “self-destruct” reputation, the app is a popular tool among youngsters for transmitting sexually explicit material.‘The Snappening’ Is Real: 90,000 Private Photos and 9,000 Hacked Snapchat Videos Leak Online
October 13, 2014
At this point, why not sit back and wait for this crazy experiment to self-destruct?The GOP Is Terrified Obamacare Could Be a Success
July 11, 2013
While we self-destruct, we continue our arrogant dance with greed.Harry Belafonte: Black Artists Must Do More
September 2, 2012
Newt could self-destruct before that, but waiting for such a meltdown is not a strategy.Don't Count Mitt Romney Out of the 2012 GOP Nomination Battle Yet
December 12, 2011
And like Stuxnet before it, Duqu was designed to self-destruct weeks after infecting a particular machine.New Computer Malware May Presage Another Cyberattack, Potentially on Iran
November 16, 2011
- (intr) to explode or disintegrate automatically as a result of pre-programmingthe missile self-destructed
- to destroy oneself, one's reputation, etc, through one's habits or actionsI totally self-destructed with drugs
- (as modifier)hit the self-destruct button
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
Word Origin and History for self-destruct
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper