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a. The act or process of destroying: The destruction of the house was completed in two days.
b. The condition of having been destroyed: Destruction from the tornado was extensive.
2. The cause or means of destroying: weapons that could prove to be the destruction of humankind.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin dēstrūctiō, dēstrūctiōn-, from dēstrūctus, past participle of dēstruere, to destroy; see destroy.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. the act of destroying or state of being destroyed; demolition
2. a cause of ruin or means of destroying
[C14: from Latin dēstructiō a pulling down; see destroy]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(dɪˈstrʌk ʃən)

1. the act of destroying.
2. the condition of being destroyed.
3. a cause or means of destroying.
[1275–1325; < Latin dēstructiō, derivative (with -tiō -tion) of dēstruere to destroy]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


A type of adjustment for destroying a given target.
Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. US Department of Defense 2005.


 of wildcats: a group of wildcats. See also dout.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.




  1. As killing as the canker to the rose —John Milton
  2. (Bones) breaking like hearts —Bin Ramke
  3. Break [a person’s spirit] like a biscuit —Beaumont and Fletcher
  4. Break like a bursting heart —Percy Bysshe Shelley
  5. Break like dead leaves —Richard Howard
  6. Cracked like parchment —Sin Ai
  7. Cracked like the ice in a frozen daiquiri —Anon
  8. (Her projects of happiness … ) crackled in the wind like dead boughs —Gustave Flaubert
  9. Crack like walnuts —Rita Mae Brown
  10. Crack like wishbones —Diane Ackerman
  11. Cracks … like a glass in which the contents turned to ice, and shiver it —Herman Melville
  12. [Fender and hood of a car] crumpled like tinfoil —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  13. Crushed like an empty beer can —Anon
  14. Crushed … like rats in a slate fall —Davis Grubb

    In Grubb’s novel, The Barefoot Man, the simile refers to miners who lost their lives.

  15. Crushed like rotten apples —William Shakespeare
  16. Crushed me like a grape —Carla Lane, British television sitcom, “Solo,” broadcast, May 19, 1987
  17. (And I’ll be) cut up like a pie —Irish ballad
  18. Destructive as moths in a woolens closet —Anon
  19. [Time’s malevolent effect on body] dragging him down like a bursting sack —Gerald Kersh
  20. (The Communists are) eating us away like an old fruit —Janet Flanner
  21. (Men) fade like leaves —Aristophanes
  22. Flattened her pitiful attempt like a locomotive running on a single track full steam ahead —Cornell Woolrich
  23. (Creditors ready to) gnaw him to bits … like maggots at work on a carcass —George Garrett
  24. The grass (at Shea Stadium) looked as if it had been attacked by animals that had not grazed for ages —Alex Yannis, New York Times, September 18, 1986

    Yannis, in reporting on the Mets’ winning the National League Eastern Division title, used the simile to describe the fans’ destruction of the playing field.

  25. If I do [give up] … I’ll be like a bullfighter gone horn-shy —Loren D. Estleman
  26. Like a divorce … goes ripping through our lives —Book jacket copy describing effect of Sharon Sheehe Stark’s novel, A Wrestling Season.
  27. Marked for annihilation like an orange scored for peeling —Yehuda Amichai
  28. My heroes [Chicago Cubs] had wilted like slugs —George F. Will
  29. Pollutes … like ratbite —William Alfred
  30. Self-destructing like a third-rate situation comedy —Warren T. Brookes, on Republican party, Wall Street Journal, July 15, 1986
  31. Shattered like a walnut shell —Charles Dickens

    In Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, the comparison refers to a broken wine cask.

  32. Shatter them like so much glass —Robert Louis Stevenson
  33. Shrivel up like some old straw broom —Joyce Carol Oates
  34. Snap like dry chicken bones —David Michael
  35. [Taut nerves] snap like guy wires in a tornado —Nardi Reeder Campion, New York Times r/raes/Op-Ed, January, 5, 1987
  36. (Then the illusion) snapped like a nest of threads —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  37. Snapped off [due to frailness] like celery —Lawrence Durrell
  38. (Who can accept that spirit can be) snuffed as finally as a flame —Barbara Lazear Ascher, New York Times 77mes/Hers, October 30, 1986
  39. They [free-spending wife and daughter] ate holes in me like Swiss cheese —Clifford Odets
  40. Wear out their lives, like old clothes —John Cheever
  41. Your destruction comes as a whirlwind —The Holy Bible /Proverbs
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.destruction - the termination of something by causing so much damage to it that it cannot be repaired or no longer existsdestruction - the termination of something by causing so much damage to it that it cannot be repaired or no longer exists
ending, termination, conclusion - the act of ending something; "the termination of the agreement"
disaster - an act that has disastrous consequences
kill - the destruction of an enemy plane or ship or tank or missile; "the pilot reported two kills during the mission"
laying waste, ruining, wrecking, ruination, ruin - destruction achieved by causing something to be wrecked or ruined
demolishing, tearing down, leveling, razing - complete destruction of a building
annihilation, obliteration - destruction by annihilating something
decimation - destroying or killing a large part of the population (literally every tenth person as chosen by lot)
self-destruction - the act of destroying yourself; "his insistence was pure self-destruction"
neutralisation, neutralization - (euphemism) the removal of a threat by killing or destroying it (especially in a covert operation or military operation)
sabotage - a deliberate act of destruction or disruption in which equipment is damaged
extermination, liquidation - the act of exterminating
holocaust - an act of mass destruction and loss of life (especially in war or by fire); "a nuclear holocaust"
demolition - the act of demolishing
spoliation - (law) the intentional destruction of a document or an alteration of it that destroys its value as evidence
hooliganism, malicious mischief, vandalism - willful wanton and malicious destruction of the property of others
2.destruction - an event (or the result of an event) that completely destroys somethingdestruction - an event (or the result of an event) that completely destroys something
conclusion, ending, finish - event whose occurrence ends something; "his death marked the ending of an era"; "when these final episodes are broadcast it will be the finish of the show"
annihilation, disintegration - total destruction; "bomb tests resulted in the annihilation of the atoll"
eradication, obliteration - the complete destruction of every trace of something
ravage, depredation - (usually plural) a destructive action; "the ravages of time"; "the depredations of age and disease"
razing, wrecking - the event of a structure being completely demolished and leveled
ruination, ruin - an event that results in destruction
wrack, rack - the destruction or collapse of something; "wrack and ruin"
3.destruction - a final state; "he came to a bad end"; "the so-called glorious experiment came to an inglorious end"
state - the way something is with respect to its main attributes; "the current state of knowledge"; "his state of health"; "in a weak financial state"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. ruin, havoc, wreckage, crushing, wrecking, shattering, undoing, demolition, devastation, annihilation, ruination the extensive destruction caused by the rioters
2. massacre, overwhelming, slaughter, overthrow, extinction, end, downfall, liquidation, obliteration, extermination, annihilation, eradication Our objective was the destruction of the enemy forces.
3. slaughter, slaughtering, putting down, termination, extermination, putting to sleep the destruction of animals infected with foot-and-mouth disease
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. The act of destroying or state of being destroyed:
2. An act, instance, or consequence of breaking:
3. Something that causes total loss or severe impairment, as of one's health, fortune, honor, or hopes:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
imhamahvolmatahrip etmeyıkımyok etme
sự phá hủy


[dɪsˈtrʌkʃən] N
1. (gen) → destrucción f (fig) [of reputation] → destrucción f; [of person] → ruina f, perdición f
to test a machine to destructionsometer una máquina a pruebas límite
see also scene A2
2. (= ruins, damage) → destrozos mpl
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[dɪˈstrʌkʃən] n
(= action) → destruction f
(= state) → anéantissement m
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(= destroying, of town, building, hope) → Zerstörung f; (of enemy, people, insects, documents)Vernichtung f; (of reputation)Ruinierung f, → Zerstörung f; (of character, soul)Zerstörung f, → Zersetzung f
(= damage: caused by war, fire) → Verwüstung f, → Zerstörung f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[dɪsˈtrʌkʃn] n (gen) → distruzione f; (caused by war, fire) → danni mpl
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(diˈstrakʃən) noun
1. the act or process of destroying or being destroyed. the destruction of the city.
2. the state of being destroyed; ruin. a scene of destruction.
desˈtructive (-tiv) adjective
1. causing or able to cause destruction. Small children can be very destructive.
2. (of criticism etc) pointing out faults etc without suggesting improvements.
deˈstructively adverb
deˈstructiveness noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


تَدْمِير zničení ødelæggelse Zerstörung καταστροφή destrucción tuho destruction uništenje distruzione 破壊 파괴 verwoesting ødeleggelse zniszczenie destruição разрушение förstörelse การทำลาย imha sự phá hủy 毁灭
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
Every being, which during its natural lifetime produces several eggs or seeds, must suffer destruction during some period of its life, and during some season or occasional year, otherwise, on the principle of geometrical increase, its numbers would quickly become so inordinately great that no country could support the product.
There are six sorts of movement: generation, destruction, increase, diminution, alteration, and change of place.
One great factor that helped to swell the socialist vote was the destruction of Hearst.* This the Plutocracy found an easy task.
Livia is infamed, for the poisoning of her husband; Roxalana, Solyman's wife, was the destruction of that renowned prince, Sultan Mustapha, and otherwise troubled his house and succession; Edward the Second of England, his queen, had the principal hand in the deposing and murder of her husband.
He operated wholly alone, but he created a thousandfold more terror and achieved a thousandfold more destruction than all the terrorist groups added together.
The vice and evil which is inherent in each is the destruction of each; and if this does not destroy them there is nothing else that will; for good certainly will not destroy them, nor again, that which is neither good nor evil.
But why has he such a passionate love for destruction and chaos also?
A tyranny also is exposed to the same destruction as all other states are, from too powerful neighbours: for it is evident, that an opposition of principles will make them desirous of subverting it; and what they desire, all who can, do: and there is a principle of opposition in one state to another, as a democracy against a tyranny, as says Hesiod, "a potter against a potter;" for the extreme of a democracy is a tyranny; a kingly power against an aristocracy, from their different forms of government--for which reason the Lacedaemonians destroyed many tyrannies; as did the Syracusians during the prosperity of their state.
I could not bear it, sir; upon my soul, I could not." [Here the tears ran down his cheeks, and he thus proceeded.] "It was to save them from absolute destruction I parted with your dear present, notwithstanding all the value I had for it: I sold the horse for them, and they have every farthing of the money."
The cause of the destruction of the French army in 1812 is clear to us now.
At any time the destruction that had already singed the northwestern borders of the metropolis, and had annihilated Ealing and Kilburn, might strike among these houses and leave them smoking ruins.
who have found in that which I deemed a happy windfall the source of my destruction."