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destroy

[dih-stroi] /dɪˈstrɔɪ/
verb (used with object)
1.
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.
2.
to put an end to; extinguish.
3.
to kill; slay.
4.
to render ineffective or useless; nullify; neutralize; invalidate.
5.
to defeat completely.
verb (used without object)
6.
to engage in destruction.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English destroyen < Old French destruire < Vulgar Latin *dēstrūgere, for Latin dēstruere (dē- de- + struere to pick up, build)
Related forms
destroyable, adjective
half-destroyed, adjective
predestroy, verb (used with object)
self-destroyed, adjective
self-destroying, adjective
undestroyed, adjective
well-destroyed, adjective
Can be confused
decimal, decimate, destroy (see usage note at decimate; see synonym study at the current entry)
Synonyms
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.
Antonyms
1, 2. create.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for destroy
  • destroy the misconceptions by having students read primary sources they would not pick up on their own.
  • Narrative, description and quotation illustrate a universal tendency to overfish and destroy.
  • They preserve what has a value for them and will destroy everything that has in their eyes no value.
  • Hunt suspected that humans alone could not destroy the forests this quickly.
  • Send it out to sea in search of a humanitarian aid ship to destroy.
  • He removed the heart so carefully not because he intended to eat, or otherwise, destroy it.
  • Lava can burn, bury, and destroy everything in its path.
  • The exposure would prompt the body's immune system to raise its own disease-fighting antibodies to destroy the protein.
  • To spare you is no profit, to destroy you is no loss.
  • destroy slugs and snails or put them in a bag and toss them in the garbage.
British Dictionary definitions for destroy

destroy

/dɪˈstrɔɪ/
verb (mainly transitive)
1.
to ruin; spoil; render useless
2.
to tear down or demolish; break up; raze
3.
to put an end to; do away with; extinguish
4.
to kill or annihilate
5.
to crush, subdue, or defeat
6.
(intransitive) to be destructive or cause destruction
Derived Forms
destroyable, adjective
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for destroy
v.

early 13c., from Old French destruire (12c., Modern French détruire) "destroy, ravage, lay waste," from Vulgar Latin *destrugere (source of Italian distruggere), refashioned (influenced by destructus), from Latin destruere "tear down, demolish," literally "un-build," from de- "un-, down" (see de-) + struere "to pile, build" (see structure (n.)). Related: Destroyed; destroying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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