English

Definition of destroy verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    destroy

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//dɪˈstrɔɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈstrɔɪ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they destroy
    BrE BrE//dɪˈstrɔɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈstrɔɪ//
     
    he / she / it destroys
    BrE BrE//dɪˈstrɔɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈstrɔɪz//
     
    past simple destroyed
    BrE BrE//dɪˈstrɔɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈstrɔɪd//
     
    past participle destroyed
    BrE BrE//dɪˈstrɔɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈstrɔɪd//
     
    -ing form destroying
    BrE BrE//dɪˈstrɔɪɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈstrɔɪɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 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).
  2. 2destroy something to kill an animal deliberately, usually because it is sick or not wanted The injured horse had to be destroyed.
  3. see also soul-destroying
    Word Familydestroy verbdestroyer noundestruction noundestructive adjectiveindestructible adjective Word Origin Middle English: from Old French destruire, based on Latin destruere, from de- (expressing reversal) + struere ‘build’.Extra examples Drugs can destroy the health and lives of young people. He physically destroyed the computer by smashing it to pieces. Our greed may ultimately destroy the planet. She seemed intent on destroying everything they had built up together. That guy just single-handedly destroyed everything we’ve worked for. The bomb hit, instantly destroying the building. The building was destroyed by fire last year. The earthquake literally destroyed their villages. The horse broke a leg and had to be destroyed. The rainforest is being systematically destroyed. Their lives have been virtually destroyed by this tragedy. These weapons are capable of destroying the entire planet. This disease threatens to destroy many of our native trees. a new attempt to destroy enemy positions Failure was slowly destroying him. The brigade’s mission was to destroy the enemy. They’ve destroyed all the evidence.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: destroy