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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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
But the soul which cannot be destroyed by an evil, whether inherent or external, must exist for ever, and if existing for ever, must be immortal?
That is the conclusion, I said; and, if a true conclusion, then the souls must always be the same, for if none be destroyed they will not diminish in number.
On the confines of its geographical range, a change of constitution with respect to climate would clearly be an advantage to our plant; but we have reason to believe that only a few plants or animals range so far, that they are destroyed by the rigour of the climate alone.
The Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow are destroyed, and the Lion is tied up in your yard.
But if you go forth, returning evil for evil, and injury for injury, breaking the covenants and agreements which you have made with us, and wronging those whom you ought least of all to wrong, that is to say, yourself, your friends, your country, and us, we shall be angry with you while you live, and our brethren, the laws in the world below, will receive you as an enemy; for they will know that you have done your best to destroy us.
In the northern Idleb province, the Army's Air Force killed large numbers of terrorists and destroys their vehicles in Abu al-Dohour, al-Majas, Tal Salmo and al-Rueifiyeh in the province's countryside.
"These strikes remove ISIL's ability to mass fighters, destroys their equipment and their leaders, and denies them the ability to establish positional advantage on the battlefield." In Iraq, 19 airstrikes were carried out near eight areas like Al-Qaim, where an airstrike struck an ISIL weapons storage facility, Ar Rutbah, where an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and Bayji, where eight airstrikes struck two large and four smaller tactical units, destroyed two ISIL structures, an ISIL mortar system, an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL vehicle.
Army kills militants, destroys their weapons in Hasaka Army units killed scores of militants and destroyed their weapons and ammunition in Khrab Askar and Khirbet al-Sad villages in Hasaka countryside.
This penetration of a certain kind of technology into all spheres of contemporary life and society has destroyed--and is destroying--some of the most essential and defining characteristics of humanity itself; for when technology destroys the innate nature of apricots it simultaneously destroys something within us and makes us poorer.
The court concluded that when evidence indicates a party is aware of circumstances likely to result in future litigation but destroys potentially relevant records without particularized inquiry, a fact-finder may infer that the party probably did so because the records would harm its case.
Flying the AV-8B Harrier II, attacks and destroys surface targets under all-weather conditions, day and night.
Research on embryonic stem cells raises profound ethical questions, because extracting the stem cell destroys the embryo, and thus destroys its potential for life.