- To destroy is defined as to damage, ruin or spoil something beyond repair.
When you drive a truck into a house and totally demolish it, this is an example of a situation where you destroy the house.
This house has been destroyed.
- to tear down; demolish
- to break up or spoil completely; ruin
- to bring to total defeat; crush
- to put an end to; do away with
- to kill
- to neutralize the effect of
- to make useless
Origin of destroyMiddle English destroien ; from Old French destruire ; from Classical Latin destruere ; from de-, down + struere, to build: see structure
verbde·stroyed, de·stroy·ing, de·stroys
- To break apart the structure of, render physically unusable, or cause to cease to exist as a distinguishable physical entity: The fire destroyed the library. The tumor was destroyed with a laser.
- To put an end to; eliminate: “In crowded populations, poverty destroys the possibility of cleanliness” (George Bernard Shaw).
- To render useless or ruin: felt that an overemphasis on theory had destroyed the study of literature.
- To put to death; kill: destroy a rabid dog.
- To subdue or defeat completely; crush: The rebel forces were destroyed in battle.
- To cause emotional trauma to; devastate: The divorce destroyed him.
Origin of destroyMiddle English destroien, from Old French destruire, from Vulgar Latin *dēstrūgere, back-formation from Latin dēstrūctus, past participle of dēstruere, to destroy : dē-, de- + struere, to pile up; see ster-2 in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present destroys, present participle destroying, simple past and past participle destroyed)
- To damage beyond use or repair.
- The earthquake destroyed several apartment complexes.
- (intransitive) To cause destruction.
- Hooligans destroy unprovoked
- To neutralize, undo a property or condition.
- Smoking destroys the natural subtlety of the palate
- To put down or euthanize.
- Destroying a rabid dog is required by law.
- (colloquial) To defeat soundly.
- (computing) To remove data.
- The memory leak happened because we forgot to destroy the temporary lists.