9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[dih-struhk-tiv] /dɪˈstrʌk tɪv/
tending to destroy; causing destruction or much damage (often followed by of or to):
a very destructive windstorm.
tending to overthrow, disprove, or discredit (opposed to constructive):
destructive criticism.
Origin of destructive
1480-90; < Middle French < Late Latin dēstructīvus, equivalent to Latin dēstruct(us) (see destruction) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
destructively, adverb
destructiveness, destructivity
[dee-struhk-tiv-i-tee] /ˌdi strʌkˈtɪv ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
interdestructive, adjective
interdestructively, adverb
interdestructiveness, noun
nondestructive, adjective
nondestructively, adverb
nondestructiveness, noun
overdestructive, adjective
overdestructively, adverb
overdestructiveness, noun
semidestructive, adjective
undestructive, adjective
undestructively, adverb
undestructiveness, noun
1. ruinous, deleterious. 2. unfavorable, adverse, negative.
1. creative. 2. constructive. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for destructive
  • Dissertation-avoidance comes in two forms: destructive and constructive.
  • The field and pasture damage caused by wombat burrowing can be a destructive nuisance to ranchers and farmers.
  • Global warming has extended the destructive reach of humankind.
  • The more energy in an earthquake, the more destructive it can be.
  • For such a destructive organism, the root rot created amazing, beautiful patterns in the wood.
  • Nuclear weapons are often measured in kilotons, but that doesn't really tell the story of a weapon's destructive power.
  • For my money, taking up the accordion is destructive.
  • Concern about destructive fishing practices such as trawling and blast fishing is mounting.
  • At the core of our academic culture is a monolithic model of quality that is demoralizing, divisive, and destructive.
  • The stampede might be almost as destructive as the fire.
British Dictionary definitions for destructive


often postpositive and foll by of or to. causing or tending to cause the destruction (of)
intended to disprove or discredit, esp without positive suggestions or help; negative: destructive criticism Compare constructive (sense 1)
Derived Forms
destructively, adverb
destructiveness, destructivity (ˌdiːstrʌkˈtɪvɪtɪ) noun
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 destructive

late 15c., from Old French destructif (14c.), from Late Latin destructivus, from destruct-, past participle stem of Latin destruere (see destroy).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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