Meaning of destroy

destroy




When your little brother breaks your carefully constructed Lego village into its tiny parts, he destroys it. To destroy is to completely demolish.

To destroy is the opposite of to construct or to build. When you destroy something, you cause destruction, when you build something, you are involved in its construction. In war, soldiers are sometimes sent on missions to search and destroy. This means their job is to find a target and completely take it out. Destroy doesn’t have to be physical though. If you get an F in your math class, that could destroy your dream of going to an Ivy League university and too much criticism can destroy your self-esteem.

Definitions of destroy
  1. verb

    do away with, cause the destruction or undoing of

    “The fire
    destroyed the house”
    synonyms:

    destruct

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    types:

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    kill

    destroy a vitally essential quality of or in
    do away with, eliminate, extinguish, get rid of

    terminate, end, or take out
    self-destroy, self-destruct

    do away with oneself or itself
    destruct

    destroy (one’s own missile or rocket)
    end

    put an end to
    fracture

    interrupt, break, or destroy
    sweep away, wipe out

    eliminate completely and without a trace
    interdict

    destroy by firepower, such as an enemy’s line of communication
    demolish, pulverise, pulverize

    destroy completely
    break apart, break up, disassemble, dismantle, take apart

    take apart into its constituent pieces
    dismantle, level, pull down, rase, raze, take down, tear down

    tear down so as to make flat with the ground
    eradicate, exterminate, extirpate, root out, uproot

    destroy completely, as if down to the roots
    dilapidate

    bring into a condition of decay or partial ruin by neglect or misuse
    demyelinate

    destroy the myelin sheath of
    cancel out, wipe out

    wipe out the effect of something
    decouple

    reduce or eliminate the coupling of (one circuit or part to another)
    decouple

    eliminate airborne shock waves from (an explosive)
    obliterate

    do away with completely, without leaving a trace
    knock out

    eliminate
    drown

    get rid of as if by submerging
    cut out

    delete or remove
    cut, prune, rationalise, rationalize

    weed out unwanted or unnecessary things
    extinguish, snuff out

    put an end to; kill
    except, exclude, leave off, leave out, omit, take out

    prevent from being included or considered or accepted
    bulldoze

    flatten with or as if with a bulldozer
    type of:

    undo, unmake

    deprive of certain characteristics

  2. verb

    destroy completely; damage irreparably

    synonyms:

    ruin

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    types:

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    burn, burn down, fire

    destroy by fire
    desolate, devastate, lay waste to, ravage, scourge, waste

    cause extensive destruction or ruin utterly
    harry, ravage

    make a pillaging or destructive raid on (a place), as in wartimes
    break

    find a flaw in
    break, bust

    ruin completely
    vandalise, vandalize

    destroy wantonly, as through acts of vandalism
    do a job on

    destroy completely or make ugly or useless
    subvert

    destroy completely
    get

    overcome or destroy
    devour

    destroy completely
    despoil, plunder, rape, spoil, violate

    destroy and strip of its possession
    explode

    destroy by exploding
    consume

    destroy completely
    shipwreck

    destroy a ship
    bust up, wrack, wreck

    smash or break forcefully
    kick down, kick in

    open violently
    wash out

    wear or destroy by the force of water
    backfire

    set a controlled fire to halt an advancing forest to prairie fire
    cremate

    reduce to ashes
    torch

    burn maliciously, as by arson
    scorch

    destroy completely by or as if by fire
    break down

    cause to fall or collapse
    key

    vandalize a car by scratching the sides with a key
    ruin

    reduce to ruins

  3. verb

    defeat soundly

    synonyms:

    demolish

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    types:

    smash

    overthrow or destroy (something considered evil or harmful)
    swallow

    engulf and destroy
    cut to ribbons

    defeat totally
    type of:

    defeat, get the better of, overcome

    win a victory over

  4. verb

    put (an animal) to death

    “The customs agents
    destroyed the dog that was found to be rabid”
    synonyms:

    put down

    see moresee less

    type of:

    kill

    cause to die; put to death, usually intentionally or knowingly

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