from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To break apart the structure of, render physically unusable, or cause to cease to exist as a distinguishable physical entity:
  • intransitive verb To put an end to; eliminate.
  • intransitive verb To render useless or ruin.
  • intransitive verb To put to death; kill.
  • intransitive verb To subdue or defeat completely; crush.
  • intransitive verb To cause emotional trauma to; devastate.
  • intransitive verb To be destructive; cause destruction.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To pull down; unbuild (that which has been built or constructed); demolish: as, to destroy a building or a fortification; to destroy a city.
  • To overthrow; lay waste; ruin; make desolate.
  • To kill; slay; extirpate: applied to men or animals.
  • To bring to naught; put an end to; annihilate; obliterate entirely; cause to cease, or to cease to be: as, to destroy one's happiness or peace of mind by worry.
  • To counteract or render of no avail; take away, detract from, or vitiate the power, force, value, use, or beauty of; ruin; spoil: as, to destroy a person's influence.
  • To refute; disprove.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To unbuild; to pull or tear down; to separate virulently into its constituent parts; to break up the structure and organic existence of; to demolish.
  • transitive verb To ruin; to bring to naught; to put an end to; to annihilate; to consume.
  • transitive verb To put an end to the existence, prosperity, or beauty of; to kill.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To damage beyond use or repair.
  • verb intransitive To cause destruction.
  • verb transitive To neutralize, undo a property or condition.
  • verb transitive To put down or euthanize.
  • verb colloquial, transitive To defeat soundly.
  • verb computing, transitive To remove data.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb destroy completely; damage irreparably
  • verb put (an animal) to death
  • verb do away with, cause the destruction or undoing of
  • verb defeat soundly


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English destroien, from Old French destruire, from Vulgar Latin *dēstrūgere, back-formation from Latin dēstrūctus, past participle of dēstruere, to destroy : dē-, de- + struere, to pile up; see ster- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English destroyen, from Old French destruire, Vulgar Latin *destrugō, from Classical Latin dēstruō, from dē- ("un-, de-") + struō ("I build"). Displaced native Old English shend ("desroy, injure").


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  • This relationship exists to support such things as the destroy event -- so that when a parent component (such as the root) is destroyed, the parent knows who its children are, and can destroy them before destroying itself.

    Thinking in Tkinter

    Gee I love that kind of talk. say in Ensign Parker voice

    November 28, 2008