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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 periodicals archive ?
The anti-ballistic missiles in Alaska and California use "hit-to-kill" technology: They destroy incoming enemy missiles by physically colliding with them.
Institutional notice arises when the person who destroys does not have reasonable notice of a controversy, but the institution as a whole does.
No doubt, Kelley provided Moore with an inside line to a crucial cosmology, the patron saints of what has come to be known as indie rock--Sun Ra, Iggy & the Stooges, the MC5, and, among others (ahem), Destroy All Monsters.
Garlic helps prevent and eliminate infections as well as destroys parasites, worms and viruses in addition to stimulating the immune function.
Here are some common methods companies use to destroy data and why they might not always work:
The movement to destroy the Boy Scouts or America is a movement to put our nation on the same list with the 20 major countries that don't have Boy Scouting.
If WHO can actually confirm that bioterrorists don't hold stocks of smallpox, it can reinstate plans to destroy variola, he says, but such confirmation will be "a daunting and difficult task, and it may never be accomplished.
A subterranean theme of Search and Destroy is an ambivalence about filmmaking itself.
States such as Wisconsin, California, and, most recently, Georgia, have passed laws to fight the rising wave of identity theft, requiring businesses to destroy obsolete personal information.
2010 provides for criminal prosecution and enhanced criminal penalties for those who defraud investors in publicly traded securities or alter or destroy physical or testimonial evidence related to the fraudulent transaction.