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self-destruct

[ self-di-struhkt ]

verb (used without object)

  1. to destroy itself or oneself:

    The missile is built so that a malfunction will cause it to self-destruct.

  2. 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.



adjective

  1. causing something to self-destruct:

    a self-destruct mechanism.

self-destruct

verb

  1. intr to explode or disintegrate automatically as a result of pre-programming

    the missile self-destructed

  2. to destroy oneself, one's reputation, etc, through one's habits or actions

    I totally self-destructed with drugs



noun

  1. ( as modifier )

    hit the self-destruct button

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Word History and Origins

Origin of self-destruct1

An Americanism dating back to 1965–70

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Example Sentences

Because of its “self-destruct” reputation, the app is a popular tool among youngsters for transmitting sexually explicit material.

At this point, why not sit back and wait for this crazy experiment to self-destruct?

While we self-destruct, we continue our arrogant dance with greed.

Once Gingrich was leading the polls, the pundits began betting whether he would self-destruct.

Newt could self-destruct before that, but waiting for such a meltdown is not a strategy.

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self-depreciationself-destruction