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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 ?
He destroyed the billboards because he was not getting enough attentionso his destroying it is ingenuity because I have told my people if you have no work, spoil something and start repairing it because you must be doing something.
Other army units destroyed hideouts of terrorist groups affiliated to Jabhat al-Nusra andmachinegun-equipped vehicles in the villages of al-Barqoum, Qarasi, and al-Hweiz, in addition to destroying a concentration of terrorists in al-Shwaihna village and eliminating terrorist hotbeds in the neighborhoods of Karm Maiser and al-Sukkari and at al-Sakhour roundabout in Aleppo city.
While the prospect of facing a patent suit may be daunting, one way to lessen the burden is to have companies put into place a policy for destroying unnecessary documents via Document Retention Policies.
Clients should be notified in writing about our policy for destroying files and how they can request copies of any data, subject to our approval.
Two independent groups of scientists have devised ways to isolate embryonic stem cells from mice without destroying viable embryos.
Humanity cannot retain its innate nature, fitrah, while simultaneously destroying the innate nature of other species.
Destroying schools is an element of persecution that is now almost a trend in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Nepal, India, and Pakistan."
But, according to a recent news release from Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Russia has destroyed only slightly more than one percent of its stockpile and "has no credible plan for destroying the remainder of its nerve gas stockpile."
Taking up this global problem, the Department of State, working with the Department of Defense, has dedicated funding and expertise to assisting countries in improving stockpile management practices and destroying excess SA/LW.
What became clear is that the Taliban, in their last days, were not only destroying images of living things -- an abuse of Koranic texts -- but they were also attacking history and memory.
Remember, the stronger and healthier we are, the more capable our bodies are at fighting off and destroying bacteria, germs, and viruses.