- 1 destroy something/somebody to damage something so badly that it no longer exists, works, etc. The building was completely destroyed by fire. They've destroyed all the evidence. Heat gradually destroys vitamin C. You have destroyed my hopes of happiness. Failure was slowly destroying him (= making him less and less confident and happy).
- 2destroy something to kill an animal deliberately, usually because it is sick or not wanted The injured horse had to be destroyed.
- 3 destroy somebody (informal) to defeat someone completely The Tigers destroyed the Padres in five games. see also soul-destroying Word Familydestroy verbdestroyer noundestruction noundestructive adjectiveindestructible adjective
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NAmE//dɪˈstrɔɪ//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they destroy
he / she / it destroys
past simple destroyed
-ing form destroying