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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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
And then poor little me as well, that is, the unimportant person that is me--the person of all people, who taken by themselves--are 'unimportant,' fragile, easily destroyable, extinguishable by the millions--it is at this intersection, where my text originates" (Jelinek, "Es gibt keine Moglichkeit" 16).
polyolefin), in order to make the end product destroyable as well.
Originating in Buddhist thought and deriving from the Sanskrit term loka-dhatu, shijie in its original use perceives the world as ever-changing and destroyable. (20) It refers to both spatial and temporal dimensions of the processes taking place at a particular time and within certain physical confinements.