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Date: 1100-1200
Language: Old French
Origin: destruire, from Latin destruere, from struere 'to build'

destroy

verb
     
de‧stroy S2 W2 [transitive]
1 to damage something so badly that it no longer exists or cannot be used or repaired [↪ destruction]
completely/totally destroy
The school was completely destroyed by fire.
companies that are polluting and destroying the environment
2 if something destroys someone, it ruins their life completely:
The scandal destroyed Simmons and ended his political career.
3 informal to defeat an opponent easily:
The Bears destroyed the Detroit Lions 35-3.
4HBA to kill an animal, especially because it is ill or dangerous:
One of the bulls had to be destroyed.
WORD CHOICE: WORD CHOICE:

destroy, ruin, spoil
Destroy means to damage something so badly that it no longer exists or people can no longer use it The earthquake destroyed even the tallest buildings. The rainforests are being destroyed at a frightening rate. If you ruin or spoil something, it still exists, but it has lost all its good qualities or features. Ruin is stronger than spoil The rain ruined my hair. I don't want to spoil your day.

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