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Related to destroys: roughshod, mistook, veered


In general, to ruin completely; may include a taking. To ruin the structure, organic existence, or condition of a thing; to demolish; to injure or mutilate beyond possibility of use; to nullify.

As used in policies of insurance, in leases, and in maritime law, and under various statutes, this term is often applied to an act that renders the subject useless for its intended purpose, though it does not literally demolish or annihilate it.

In relation to wills, contracts, and other documents, the term destroy does not mean the annihilation of the instrument or its resolution into other forms of matter, but a destruction of its legal efficacy, which may be by cancellation, obliterating, tearing into fragments, and so on.


(Efface), verb abort, annihilate, blast, blight, blot out, break to pieces, bring to ruin, burn, consume, corrode, deal destruction, decimate, deface, demolish, destruct, destruere, devastate, devour, diruere, dissolve, do away with, eliminate, eradicate, erase, expunge, exterminate, extinguish, extirpate, gut, kill, lay waste, level, liquidate, murder, mutilate, overthrow, overturn, perdere, pulverize, put to death, quell, ravage, raze, reduce to nothing, rend, rub out, ruin, ruinate, scratch out, slay, subvert, uproot, waste, wipe out, wreck
Associated concepts: destroy a will, fraudulently destroyed, lost or destroyed


(Void), verb abolish, annul, break up, bring to naught, completely end, dismantle, extinguish, invalidate, make null, nullify, put an end to, render ineffective, unmake
Associated concepts: destruction of contingent remainders
See also: abandon, abate, abolish, abrogate, annul, break, condemn, consume, countervail, damage, deface, defeat, denounce, devastate, discontinue, dispatch, dissolve, eliminate, eradicate, expunge, extinguish, extirpate, impair, injure, kill, mistreat, murder, negate, obliterate, overcome, overturn, overwhelm, pillage, pollute, prejudice, prey, quash, refute, rescind, slay, spoil, stifle, subvert, surmount, terminate, upset, vitiate
References in classic literature ?
A power to destroy the freedom of the press, the trial by jury, or even to regulate the course of descents, or the forms of conveyances, must be very singularly expressed by the terms "to raise money for the general welfare.
Well, Fernand, I must say," said Caderousse, beginning the conversation, with that brutality of the common people in which curiosity destroys all diplomacy, "you look uncommonly like a rejected lover;" and he burst into a hoarse laugh.
He kicked down the wall of the Achaeans as easily as a child who playing on the sea-shore has built a house of sand and then kicks it down again and destroys it--even so did you, O Apollo, shed toil and trouble upon the Argives, filling them with panic and confusion.
This rigid adhesion to truth, an indispensable requisite in history and travels, destroys the charm of fiction; for all that is necessary to be conveyed to the mind by the latter had better be done by delineations of principles, and of characters in their classes, than by a too fastidious attention to originals.
thou ruinest, as contagion destroys the most robust health, that is to say, in an instant.
Though their attitudes were elegant and their movements graceful, their faces lacked frankness; it was easy to see that they belonged to a world where polite manners form the character from early youth, and the abuse of social pleasures destroys sentiment and develops egotism.
It destroys likewise magnanimity, and the raising of human nature; for take an example of a dog, and mark what a generosity and courage he will put on, when he finds himself maintained by a man; who to him is instead of a God, or melior natura; which courage is manifestly such, as that creature, without that confidence of a better nature than his own, could never attain.
Dress is at all times a frivolous distinction, and excessive solicitude about it often destroys its own aim.
But the uncivil, unavailable man, who is a problem and a threat to society, whom it cannot let pass in silence but must either worship or hate,--and to whom all parties feel related, both the leaders of opinion and the obscure and eccentric,--he helps; he puts America and Europe in the wrong, and destroys the skepticism which says, 'man is a doll, let us eat and drink, 'tis the best we can do,' by illuminating the untried and unknown.
What is more, this lot were thoroughly "salted," that is, they had worked all over South Africa, and so had become proof, comparatively speaking, against red water, which so frequently destroys whole teams of oxen when they get on to strange "veldt" or grass country.
Lunch went on methodically, until each of the seven courses was left in fragments and the fruit was merely a toy, to be peeled and sliced as a child destroys a daisy, petal by petal.
And your money destroys you; it makes you less and less nice.