destroy verb

1 damage sth so badly that it no longer exists

ADV. completely, entirely, totally, utterly | all but, almost, effectively, practically, virtually Their lives have been virtually destroyed by this tragedy. | largely | partly | systematically The rainforest is being systematically destroyed. | by fire The building was destroyed by fire last year.

VERB + DESTROY can/could Drugs can destroy the health and lives of young people. | threaten to This disease threatens to destroy many of our native trees.

PHRASES an attempt to destroy sth a new attempt to destroy enemy positions | be capable of destroying sth These weapons are capable of destroying the entire planet. | be intent on destroying sth She seemed intent on destroying everything they had built up together.

2 kill an animal

ADV. humanely

PHRASES have to be destroyed The horse broke a leg and had to be destroyed.