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From Middle English destroyen, from Old French destruire, Vulgar Latin *destrugō, from Classical Latin dēstruō, from dē- (“un-, de-”) + struō (“I build”). Displaced native shend (“destroy, injure”).
destroy (third-person singular simple present destroys, present participle destroying, simple past and past participle destroyed)
- (transitive, intransitive) To damage beyond use or repair.
- The earthquake destroyed several apartment complexes.
- Hooligans destroy unprovoked.
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], →OCLC, John 2:19:
- Iesus answered, and said vnto them, Destroy this temple, and in three dayes I will raise it vp.
- (transitive) To neutralize, undo a property or condition.
- Smoking destroys the natural subtlety of the palate.
- (transitive) To put down or euthanize.
- Destroying a rabid dog is required by law.
- (transitive) To severely disrupt the well-being of (a person); ruin.
- Her divorce destroyed her; she had a nervous breakdown and was severely depressed for more than a year.
- 2005, Kliatt Young Adult Paperback Book Guide:
- Other girls in the foster home are eager to destroy her and get her kicked out of the place. It's a tough situation.
- (colloquial, transitive, hyperbolic) To defeat soundly.
- (computing, transitive) To remove data.
- The memory leak happened because we forgot to destroy the temporary lists.
- (US, colloquial, slang) To sing a song poorly.
- 2001, Jeff Nathanson, Rush Hour 2, New Line Cinema:
- JAMES CARTER: The man's destroying a classic!
- (bodybuilding, slang, antiphrasis) To exhaust duly and thus recreate or build up.
- This exercise is going to destroy all parts of your shoulders.
- (slang, vulgar) To penetrate sexually in an aggressive way.
- She got destroyed by her lover on the carpet.
- See also Thesaurus:destroy
to damage beyond use or repair
to cause destruction
to put down or euthanize (e.g. an animal)
(computing) to remove data (e.g., from memory)
(colloquial) to defeat soundly
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Translations to be checked
- English terms derived from Proto-Indo-European
- English terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *strew-
- English terms inherited from Middle English
- English terms derived from Middle English
- English terms derived from Old French
- English terms derived from Vulgar Latin
- English terms derived from Latin
- English 2-syllable words
- English terms with IPA pronunciation
- English terms with audio links
- Rhymes:English/ɔɪ/2 syllables
- English lemmas
- English verbs
- English transitive verbs
- English intransitive verbs
- English terms with usage examples
- English terms with quotations
- English colloquialisms
- English hyperboles
- American English
- English slang
- English vulgarities