• WordNet 3.6
    • v destroy defeat soundly "The home team demolished the visitors"
    • v destroy put (an animal) to death "The customs agents destroyed the dog that was found to be rabid","the sick cat had to be put down"
    • v destroy destroy completely; damage irreparably "You have ruined my car by pouring sugar in the tank!","The tears ruined her make-up"
    • v destroy do away with, cause the destruction or undoing of "The fire destroyed the house"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

GREAT HORNED OWL Rabbits constitute a favorite food when available. Poultry and other birds are also destroyed by this owl. Range: Eastern North America GREAT HORNED OWL Rabbits constitute a favorite food when available. Poultry and other birds are also destroyed by...
A kitten looks worried, as a puppy destroys a flower bed while it's trying to catch its own tail A kitten looks worried, as a puppy destroys a flower bed while it's trying to catch its own tail

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A meteor has only destroyed one satellite, which was the European Space Agency's Olympus in 1993.
    • Destroy To put an end to the existence, prosperity, or beauty of; to kill. "If him by force he can destroy , or, worse,
      By some false guile pervert."
    • Destroy To ruin; to bring to naught; to put an end to; to annihilate; to consume. "I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation."
    • Destroy To unbuild; to pull or tear down; to separate virulently into its constituent parts; to break up the structure and organic existence of; to demolish. "But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: In 1281, the Mongol army of Kublai Khan tried to invade Japan but were ravaged by a hurricane that destroyed their fleet
    • destroy To pull down; unbuild (that which has been built or constructed); demolish: as, to destroy a building or a fortification; to destroy a city.
    • destroy To overthrow; lay waste; ruin; make desolate.
    • destroy To kill; slay; extirpate: applied to men or animals.
    • destroy To bring to naught; put an end to; annihilate; obliterate entirely; cause to cease, or to cease to be: as, to destroy one's happiness or peace of mind by worry.
    • destroy To counteract or render of no avail; take away, detract from, or vitiate the power, force, value, use, or beauty of; ruin; spoil: as, to destroy a person's influence.
    • destroy To refute; disprove.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Two objects have struck the earth with enough force to destroy a whole city. Each object, one in 1908 and again in 1947, struck regions of Siberia. Not one human being was hurt either time
    • v.i Destroy de-stroy′ to unbuild or pull down: to overturn: to ruin: to put an end to
    • pr.p Destroy destroy′ing:—pa.p. destroyed′
    • ***


  • Abraham Lincoln
    “I destroy my enemy when I make him my friend.”
  • George Santayana
    “The diseases which destroy a man are no less natural than the instincts which preserve him.”
  • Alexander Herzen
    “We could hardly believe that after so many ordeals, after all the trials of modern skepticism, there was still so much left in our souls to destroy.”
  • Margaret Trudeau
    Margaret Trudeau
    “It takes two to destroy a marriage.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “If all of our wishes were gratified, many of our dreams would be destroyed.”
  • Margaret Mead
    “We won't have a society if we destroy the environment.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. destroien, destruien, destrien, OF. destruire, F. détruire, fr. L. destruere, destructum,; de, + struere, to pile up, build. See Structure


In literature:

Others, by ignorance of parent, or accident through nurse, or through their own blunder or sin, destroy their bodily capital.
"A Man's Value to Society" by Newell Dwight Hillis
He walked about for days stiffened with resistance to her, stiff with a will to destroy her as she was.
"The Rainbow" by D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
Tell us what has driven you to destroy one of our family treasures.
"Shaman" by Robert Shea
Water being then poured on them, great numbers may easily be destroyed.
"The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches," by Mary Eaton
Five days later another destroyer ran aground in Kiao-chau Bay.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume III (of VIII)" by Various
The bridge at Pont Arcy had been destroyed, but still one of its girders spanned the stream.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume II (of VIII)" by Various
To-day, for instance, a dugout has been destroyed.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume IV (of 8)"
Else why had he been destroyed and sent back to Jeter and Eyer as a challenge?
"Lords of the Stratosphere" by Arthur J. Burks
The whalers were few in number and resembled small destroyers.
"Submarine Warfare of To-day" by Charles W. Domville-Fife
The destroyer commander nodded an emphatic assent.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, June, 1930" by Various
Why couldn't you and Cliff make it destroy life?
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, November, 1930" by Various
The evil had begun to destroy itself.
"Carmen Ariza" by Charles Francis Stocking
The city of Charleston is about to be destroyed.
"Astounding Stories, May, 1931" by Various
The long-continued tension of a muscle enfeebles its action, and eventually destroys its contractility.
"A Treatise on Anatomy, Physiology, and Hygiene (Revised Edition)" by Calvin Cutter
Therefore we must hold fast to this humility, so that the unity may not be destroyed.
"Epistle Sermons, Vol. III" by Martin Luther
Is it not we who have destroyed the Pope that said war must be made on the Mussulmans?
"The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte" by William Milligan Sloane
And he should not attempt to destroy, nor permit others to destroy, the popular leaders.
"A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital" by John Beauchamp Jones
Why did the British destroy Norfolk?
"Hero Stories from American History" by Albert F. Blaisdell
On our approach we burnt the town, destroyed the corn, &c., and returned to Tiyuga.
"The Journal of Lieut. John L. Hardenbergh of the Second New York Continental Regiment from May 1 to October 3, 1779, in General Sullivan's Campaign Against the Western Indians" by John Leonard Hardenbergh
Then he saw seven fine full ears of corn on one stalk, but there grew also seven poor thin ears, which destroyed the good ears.
"The Bible Story" by Rev. Newton Marshall Hall

In poetry:

"O mortal! mortal! let them die;
Let time and tears destroy,
That we may overflow the sky
With universal joy!
"A Day Dream" by Emily Jane Bronte
O! he gives to us his joy.
That our grief he may destroy
Till our grief is fled & gone
He doth sit by us and moan
"On Anothers Sorrow" by William Blake
"Ask me, My Son, and then enjoy
The utmost heathen lands:
Thy rod of iron shall destroy
The rebel that withstands."
"Psalm II: Why Did the Nations" by Isaac Watts
"Ask me, my Son, and then enjoy
The utmost heathen lands:
Thy rod of iron shall destroy
The rebel that withstands."
"Psalm 2" by Isaac Watts
Satan beholds, with jealous eye,
Your privilege and joy;
He's always watchful, always nigh,
To tear and to destroy.
"The Believer's Danger, Safety, And Duty" by John Newton
But there's an hour of brighter joy,
When he his angels sends
Obstinate rebels to destroy,
And gather in his friends.
"Hymn 113" by Isaac Watts

In news:

A Belgian scientist says "friendly" bacteria studded with microscopic particles of silver could be used to prevent colds and influenza by destroying the viruses that cause them, according to the Daily Mail.
Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly spent seven years hunting Mohawks for their mad, mammoth compendium , 'Destroy All Movies.
Perhaps you know that sinking feeling when a single keystroke accidentally destroys hours of work.
It was not so long ago when this administration found a way to try to destroy my comrades , the San Francisco 8, decades after several of them had been tortured and the case had been thrown out.
The FBI Will Destroy Your Social Media (But Maybe For the Right Reasons).
Animals conspire to destroy American economy.
Philips' 3D HDTV Might Destroy Space-Time Continuum , Wallets.
The Metropolitan's FDA-approved treatment to destroy fat cells.
A Mexican soldier during a mission to destroy marijuana.
More than a quarter of the world's reefs have already been destroyed.
The August 3rd explosion destroyed the home and 86-year-old Robert Young, injuring him and his grandson, 38-year-old Paul Young.
A fire pushed by strong winds destroyed six vacant buildings in the unincorporated town of Howe northwest of Idaho Falls.
KIFI-TV reports the fire started at about 3:30 pm Tuesday at the Howe Cafe and also destroyed the Little Lost Store.
Little City, OK--Lavinda Tyns said she watched a raging fire destroy her family's shop off hwy 199 in little city.
Neighbors rally to help volunteer whose business was destroyed by fire.

In science:

If we so truncate the infinite Frobenius-Perron matrix Plm,l′m′ , we (i) destroy unitarity, (ii) restrict the spectrum to N = (lmax + 1)2 discrete eigenvalues whose moduli cannot exceed unity, and (iii) renounce the resolution of phase space structures of linear dimension below √4π/(lmax + 1).
Frobenius-Perron Resonances for Maps with a Mixed Phase Space
Superposition of these states would be destroyed by the environment.
Comment on "Hidden assumptions in decoherence theory"
The superpositions between the coherent states are destroyed because of interaction with a model environment which has an infinite number of degrees of freedom.
Comment on "Hidden assumptions in decoherence theory"
From Fig. 16 one sees that in the case of hard lattices even small disorder may destroy the dimerization.
Thermodynamic properties of the periodic nonuniform spin-1/2 isotropic XY chains in a transverse field
Both the one minimum profile (solid curve in Fig. 18b) and the two minima profile (solid curves in Figs. 18c, 18e) of that dependence existing in the non-random case Γ = 0 are finally destroyed by increasing disorder.
Thermodynamic properties of the periodic nonuniform spin-1/2 isotropic XY chains in a transverse field
The trouble is that internal alignment of J and the axis of maximal inertia is being essentially destroyed if a grain is heated up to high temperatures (LR97).
Physics of Grain Alignment
CN acts as an intermediary in the formation of HCN and CS and is destroyed quickly by atomic hydrogen.
HCN in the inner envelope of {chi} Cygni
This confirms the supposition that the sources of the random field of the first component destroy the long- range order of the second component and vise versa.
Random field based model of mixed ferroelectrics phase diagram
Zirconium ions can be considered as dilatation centers or elastic dipoles which are known to destroy a long-range order leading to relaxor properties appearance .
Random field based model of mixed ferroelectrics phase diagram
We show that very small correlations m1 , m2 , m3 do not destroy the exponential convergence to zero of the corresponding expectation.
Fluctuations of the free energy in the REM and the p-spin SK models
Even after the ejection phase, the ISM is in any case a difficult environment for grain survival: grains can be destroyed there by evaporation, thermal sublimation in intense radiation fields, evaporation in grain-grain collisions, and by radiative SN shocks.
High-Redshift Galaxies: The Far-Infrared and Sub-Millimeter View
Later, on the lifetime of OB stars (106 − 107 yrs), the radiation power of young stars, stellar winds and the first SNs destroy the parent MCs and allow the young stellar population to appear in the optical.
High-Redshift Galaxies: The Far-Infrared and Sub-Millimeter View
Now, in a quite remarkable way, these integrals of motion do not get destroyed as one goes back to the original equations (2), at least for integer m and n.
Integer Quantum Hall Transition and Random SU(N) Rotation
T + ∆T > Tc (n) because the peak of Pn (En , t) created at T is destroyed.
Numerical Study of Aging in the Generalized Random Energy Model
No loop is destroyed by leaf removal so that the giant component leads to a macroscopic connected remnant after leaf removal.
Core percolation in random graphs: a critical phenomena analysis