Etymology
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destroy (v.)

c. 1200, destruien, later destroien, "to overthrow, lay waste, ruin," from Old French destruire "destroy, ravage, lay waste" (12c., Modern French détruire), from Vulgar Latin *destrugere (source of Italian distruggere), refashioned (influenced by destructus), from Latin destruere "tear down, demolish," literally "un-build," from de "un-, down" (see de-) + struere "to pile, build" (from PIE *streu-, extended form of root *stere- "to spread").

From c. 1300 as "to kill, slay," also "to pull down, demolish" (what has been built); also "bring to naught, put an end to." Related: Destroyed; destroying.

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Definitions of destroy

destroy (v.)
do away with, cause the destruction or undoing of;
The fire destroyed the house
Synonyms: destruct
destroy (v.)
destroy completely; damage irreparably;
Synonyms: ruin
destroy (v.)
defeat soundly and humiliatingly;
Synonyms: demolish
destroy (v.)
put (an animal) to death;
The customs agents destroyed the dog that was found to be rabid
Synonyms: put down
From wordnet.princeton.edu