1. smash, level, waste, ravage, devastate. 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.2. extirpate, annihilate, uproot.
earlly 13c., from O.Fr. destruire, from V.L. *destrugerie (infl. by destructos), from L. destruere "tear down, demolish," lit. "un-build," from de- "un-, down" + struere "to pile, build" (see structure).