verb de·stroy \di-ˈstri, dē-\

: to cause (something) to end or no longer exist : to cause the destruction of (something) : to damage (something) so badly that it cannot be repaired

: to kill (an animal) especially because it is sick, injured, or dangerous

: to defeat (someone or something) easily or completely

Full Definition of DESTROY

transitive verb
:  to ruin the structure, organic existence, or condition of <destroyed the files>; also :  to ruin as if by tearing to shreds <their reputation was destroyed>
a :  to put out of existence :  kill <destroy an injured horse>
b :  neutralize <the moon destroys the light of the stars>
c :  annihilate, vanquish <armies had been crippled but not destroyed — W. L. Shirer>
intransitive verb
:  to cause destruction

Origin of DESTROY

Middle English, from Anglo-French destroy-, destrui-, stem of destrure, from Vulgar Latin *destrugere, alteration of Latin destruere, from de- + struere to build — more at structure
First Known Use: 13th century

Related to DESTROY

DESTROY Defined for Kids


verb de·stroy \di-ˈstri\

Definition of DESTROY for Kids

:  to put an end to :  do away with <destroy a building> <destroy a dream>
:  1kill 1 <Officials destroyed the diseased animals.>


Next Word in the Dictionary: destroyablePrevious Word in the Dictionary: destrierAll Words Near: destroy
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears