destruct

[dih-struhkt]
adjective
1.
serving or designed to destroy: a destruct mechanism on a missile.
noun
2.
the act or process of intentional destruction: One out of ten launchings ended in destructs.
verb (used with object)
3.
to destroy.
verb (used without object)
4.
to be destroyed.

Origin:
1630–40; back formation from destruction

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World English Dictionary
destruct (dɪˈstrʌkt)
 
vb
1.  to destroy (one's own missile or rocket) for safety
2.  (intr) (of a missile or rocket) to be destroyed, for safety, by those controlling it; self-destruct
 
n
3.  the act of destructing
 
adj
4.  designed to be capable of destroying itself or the object, system, or installation containing it: destruct mechanism

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

destruct
"to destroy," 1958, probably a back formation from destruction in the jargon of U.S. aerospace and defense workers to refer to deliberate destruction of a missile in flight by a friendly agent, popularized 1966 in form self-destruct in the voice-over at the beginning
of popular TV spy drama "Mission Impossible." OED records an isolated use of destruct from 17c., in this case probably from L. destruct-, pp. stem of destruere.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Typically, the digital textbook files self-destruct after a set period of time, usually a semester or a year.
As soon as they evolve to auto-destruct, they do so.
But the strategy of waiting for the government to self-destruct may backfire.
Those that fail to detect a target are supposed to self-destruct in the air.
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