destroy

[ dih-stroi ]
/ dɪˈstrɔɪ /

verb (used with object)

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.

verb (used without object)

to engage in destruction.

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Origin of destroy

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English destroyen, from Old French destruire, from Vulgar Latin dēstrūgere (unattested), for Latin dēstruere (dē- de- + struere “to pick up, build”)

synonym study for destroy

1. Destroy, demolish, raze imply reducing a thing to uselessness. To destroy is to reduce something to nothingness or to take away its powers and functions so that restoration is impossible: Fire destroys a building. Disease destroys tissues. To demolish is to destroy something organized or structured: to demolish a machine. To raze is to level down to the ground: to raze a fortress.

historical usage of destroy

See decimate.

OTHER WORDS FROM destroy

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH destroy

decimate, destroy (see word story at decimate)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for destroy

British Dictionary definitions for destroy

destroy
/ (dɪˈstrɔɪ) /

verb (mainly tr)

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

Derived forms of destroy

destroyable, adjective

Word Origin for destroy

C13: from Old French destruire, from Latin dēstruere to pull down, from de- + struere to pile up, build
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