destroy

When your little brother breaks your carefully constructed Lego village into its tiny parts, he destroys it. To destroy is to completely demolish.

To destroy is the opposite of to construct or to build. When you destroy something, you cause destruction, when you build something, you are involved in its construction. In war, soldiers are sometimes sent on missions to search and destroy. This means their job is to find a target and completely take it out. Destroy doesn't have to be physical though. If you get an F in your math class, that could destroy your dream of going to an Ivy League university and too much criticism can destroy your self-esteem.

Definitions of destroy
1

v do away with, cause the destruction or undoing of

“The fire destroyed the house”
Synonyms:
destruct
Types:
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hide 25 types...
kill
destroy a vitally essential quality of or in
do away with, eliminate, extinguish, get rid of
terminate, end, or take out
self-destroy, self-destruct
do away with oneself or itself
destruct
destroy (one's own missile or rocket)
end
put an end to
fracture
interrupt, break, or destroy
sweep away, wipe out
eliminate completely and without a trace
interdict
destroy by firepower, such as an enemy's line of communication
demolish, pulverise, pulverize
destroy completely
break apart, break up, disassemble, dismantle, take apart
take apart into its constituent pieces
dismantle, level, pull down, rase, raze, take down, tear down
tear down so as to make flat with the ground
eradicate, exterminate, extirpate, root out, uproot
destroy completely, as if down to the roots
dilapidate
bring into a condition of decay or partial ruin by neglect or misuse
demyelinate
destroy the myelin sheath of
cancel out, wipe out
wipe out the effect of something
decouple
reduce or eliminate the coupling of (one circuit or part to another)
decouple
eliminate airborne shock waves from (an explosive)
obliterate
do away with completely, without leaving a trace
knock out
eliminate
drown
get rid of as if by submerging
cut out
delete or remove
cut, prune, rationalise, rationalize
weed out unwanted or unnecessary things
extinguish, snuff out
put an end to; kill
except, exclude, leave off, leave out, omit, take out
prevent from being included or considered or accepted
bulldoze
flatten with or as if with a bulldozer
Type of:
undo, unmake
deprive of certain characteristics

v destroy completely; damage irreparably

Synonyms:
ruin
Types:
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burn, burn down, fire
destroy by fire
desolate, devastate, lay waste to, ravage, scourge, waste
cause extensive destruction or ruin utterly
harry, ravage
make a pillaging or destructive raid on (a place), as in wartimes
break
find a flaw in
break, bust
ruin completely
vandalise, vandalize
destroy wantonly, as through acts of vandalism
do a job on
destroy completely or make ugly or useless
subvert
destroy completely
get
overcome or destroy
devour
destroy completely
despoil, plunder, rape, spoil, violate
destroy and strip of its possession
explode
destroy by exploding
consume
destroy completely
shipwreck
destroy a ship
bust up, wrack, wreck
smash or break forcefully
kick down, kick in
open violently
wash out
wear or destroy by the force of water
backfire
set a controlled fire to halt an advancing forest to prairie fire
cremate
reduce to ashes
torch
burn maliciously, as by arson
scorch
destroy completely by or as if by fire
break down
cause to fall or collapse
key
vandalize a car by scratching the sides with a key
ruin
reduce to ruins

v defeat soundly

Synonyms:
demolish
Types:
smash
overthrow or destroy (something considered evil or harmful)
swallow
engulf and destroy
cut to ribbons
defeat totally
Type of:
defeat, get the better of, overcome
win a victory over

v put (an animal) to death

“The customs agents destroyed the dog that was found to be rabid”
Synonyms:
put down
Type of:
kill
cause to die; put to death, usually intentionally or knowingly

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