[dih-struhk-shuh n]


the act of destroying: wanton destruction of a town.
the condition of being destroyed; demolition; annihilation.
a cause or means of destroying.

Origin of destruction

1275–1325; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin dēstructiōn- (stem of dēstructiō), equivalent to dēstruct(us) (past participle of dēstruere; see destroy) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsnon·de·struc·tion, nounpre·de·struc·tion, nounsem·i·de·struc·tion, noun

Synonyms for destruction

1. See ruin. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for destruction

Contemporary Examples of destruction

Historical Examples of destruction

  • This time the Romans decided to be thorough in their work of destruction.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • The unfit brought in for strength are weakness and destruction.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • When the fire was vanquished, it had practically completed its work of destruction.

  • As for that precocious damsel, she would run no least risk of destruction by the satyr.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • All that fiendish cruelty and the demon of destruction could do was done.

    The Roof of France

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

British Dictionary definitions for destruction



the act of destroying or state of being destroyed; demolition
a cause of ruin or means of destroying

Word Origin for destruction

C14: from Latin dēstructiō a pulling down; see destroy
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 destruction

early 14c., from Old French destruction (12c.) and directly from Latin destructionem (nominative destructio) "a pulling down, destruction," from past participle stem of destruere "tear down" (see destroy).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper