destroy Definition

  • 1to damage something so badly that it no longer exists or cannot be used
  • 2to defeat someone completely
  • 3to cause someone to feel extremely upset or unhappy

Using destroy: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "destroy" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The hurricane destroyed the entire town.

  • Example

    The fire destroyed the building.

  • Example

    The company was destroyed by scandal.

  • Example

    The team was destroyed by their opponents.

destroy Synonyms and Antonyms

Antonyms for destroy

Idioms Using destroy

  • to fail spectacularly or disastrously


    The company's new product launch went down in flames when it was discovered to be defective.

  • tear to shreds

    to criticize or attack someone or something harshly


    The movie was torn to shreds by critics for its poor acting and plot.

  • blow to smithereens

    to completely destroy something, often with an explosion


    The demolition crew blew the old building to smithereens.

Phrases with destroy

  • self-destruct

    to cause one's own downfall or ruin


    His addiction caused him to self-destruct and lose everything.

  • a deadly poisonous mushroom


    The destroying angel is responsible for many accidental poisonings.

  • to get rid of any proof or traces of something


    He tried to destroy the evidence of his crime, but the police found it anyway.

Origins of destroy

from Old French 'destruire', from Latin 'destruere', meaning 'tear down'


Summary: destroy in Brief

To 'destroy' [dɪˈstrɔɪ] means to damage something beyond repair, defeat someone completely, or cause extreme emotional distress. Examples include natural disasters like hurricanes, scandals that ruin companies, and sports teams being soundly defeated. Idioms like 'go down in flames' and 'tear to shreds' emphasize the catastrophic nature of destruction.

How do native speakers use this expression?