Synonyms of destroy in English:


See US English definition of destroy

See UK English definition of destroy

See Spanish definition of destruir


1‘their offices were completely destroyed by bombing’

demolish, knock down, pull down, tear down, level, raze, raze to the ground, fell, dismantle, break up, wreck, ruin, smash, shatter, crash, blast, blow up, blow to bits, blow to pieces, dynamite, explode, bomb, torpedo

build, reconstruct

2‘the increased traffic would destroy the adjoining conservation area’

spoil, ruin, wreck, disfigure, blight, mar, blemish, impair, flaw, deface, scar, injure, harm, devastate, damage, lay waste, ravage, wreak havoc on
literary waste
rare disfeature

preserve, restore

3‘his illness destroyed his hopes of going to university’

wreck, ruin, spoil, disrupt, undo, upset, play havoc with, make a mess of, put an end to, end, bring to an end, put a stop to, terminate, prevent, frustrate, blight, crush, quell, quash, dash, scotch, shatter, vitiate, blast, devastate, demolish, sabotage, torpedo
upset someone's apple cart, cook someone's goose
informal mess up, muck up, screw up, louse up, foul up, make a hash of, do in, put paid to, put the lid on, put the kibosh on, do for, scupper, dish, stymie, queer, nix, banjax, blow a hole in
British informal throw a spanner in the works of, muller
North American informal throw a monkey wrench in the works of
Australian informal euchre, cruel
vulgar slang fuck up
British vulgar slang bugger up, balls up
archaic bring to naught


4‘the horse broke its leg and had to be destroyed’

kill, kill off, put down, put to sleep, slaughter, terminate, exterminate

5‘the brigade's mission was to destroy the enemy’

annihilate, wipe out, obliterate, wipe off the face of the earth, wipe off the map, eliminate, eradicate, liquidate, extinguish, finish off, erase, root out, extirpate
kill, slaughter, massacre, butcher, exterminate, decimate
informal take out, rub out, snuff out, zap
North American informal waste


6‘Rangers last night destroyed Leeds 4–0’

defeat utterly, beat hollow, win a resounding victory over, annihilate, vanquish, drub, trounce, rout, crush, give someone a drubbing, overwhelm
informal lick, thrash, hammer, clobber, paste, give someone a pasting, whip, pound, pulverize, demolish, wipe the floor with, take to the cleaners, make mincemeat of, slaughter, murder, massacre, crucify, flatten, turn inside out, run rings around
British informal stuff, marmalize
North American informal shellac, blow out, cream, skunk
US informal own

lose to