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verb [transitive] destroy pronunciation in British English /dɪˈstrɔɪ/
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theydestroy
he/she/itdestroys
present participledestroying
past tensedestroyed
past participledestroyed
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  1. 1
    to damage something so severely that it no longer exists or can never return to its normal state

    Half the world’s rainforests 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 ill

    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 spoilt

    Her mother said the strain was destroying them all.

bit rot

when electronic information is lost because the software or devices needed to read it are no longer available

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