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destroy - definition and synonyms

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verb [transitive]     destroy pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participledestroying
past tensedestroyed
past participledestroyed
  1. 1
    to damage something so severely that it no longer exists or can never return to its normal state

    Half the world’s rain forests have already been destroyed.

    An earthquake destroyed the town, killing about 20,000 people.

    be destroyed by fire/a bomb/an explosion etc.:

    Two churches were destroyed by fire last night in northeast Mississippi.

  2. 2
    to officially kill an animal because it is dangerous or very sick

    The dog attacked a child and had to be destroyed.

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  3. 3
    to cause such severe problems for someone that their life is completely spoiled

    Her mother said the strain was destroying them all.



a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

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a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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