Definition of destructive in US English:



  • 1Causing great and irreparable harm or damage.

    ‘the destructive power of weapons’
    • ‘Birds are just as destructive and deadly at night as they are during the day and they do fly at night.’
    • ‘On the populous coasts of Sri Lanka and India nobody was aware of the awesome destructive power racing towards them.’
    • ‘It can be extremely destructive to our health, and a haggard and stressed face is not a beautiful face.’
    • ‘The vehicles buckle and crash beneath his feet, which is supposed to be an awesome display of his destructive power.’
    • ‘And all this was mobilised to produce the most destructive weapon ever seen in the history of humanity.’
    • ‘These missiles are the most deadly, destructive and inhumane weapons ever created.’
    • ‘Cuts in the sphere of culture and artistic training are enormously destructive to society.’
    • ‘It's not just that these farms are destructive to the local environment and economy.’
    • ‘Emotional infidelity is just as, and at times even more, destructive to your marriage.’
    • ‘However, viruses of the mind can program us to think and behave in ways that are destructive to our lives.’
    • ‘This is partly because both sides are animated by a fierce destructive zeal.’
    • ‘These destructive activities disturbed the powers not only at Delhi but also at London.’
    • ‘I find that very destructive to the confidence in the system and to the future of young people.’
    • ‘I find it hard to understand that any seafarer could be so wilfully destructive and do such damage.’
    • ‘Beauty can be deadly and destructive, though not the kind which Audrey Hepburn had.’
    • ‘Though she is fierce, terrifying and destructive, the Goddess is said to be quick to come to the aid of her devotees.’
    • ‘Alcohol is as destructive to health worldwide as smoking and high blood pressure, it was claimed today.’
    • ‘The couple's relationship had been destructive, damaging and unrewarding for both of them.’
    • ‘Addiction can be enormously destructive to the individual and their families.’
    • ‘I can sit here today and testify to you that bitterness is a destructive, crippling force.’
    devastating, ruinous, disastrous, catastrophic, calamitous, cataclysmic
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    1. 1.1 Tending to refute or disparage; negative and unhelpful.
      ‘destructive criticism’
      • ‘One of the problems with this type of destructive criticism is that it saps your confidence.’
      • ‘Don't be influenced or affected by negative and destructive people around you.’
      • ‘What do you see as the role of meditation in working with destructive emotions and negative emotions?’
      • ‘If they are bored, why aren't they constructive instead of destructive?’
      • ‘It was ungenerous, it was destructive, it was simple-minded, it was vicious, it was rubbish.’
      • ‘Upmarket, the Times and Telegraph are platforms for higher but no less destructive forms of scepticism.’
      • ‘I remember well that Hamish found the whole process distasteful and destructive.’
      • ‘A clear and concentrated state of mind is required, not an aggressive and destructive one.’
      • ‘Adopt a positive approach and stay away from negative and destructive people.’
      negative, hostile, antagonistic
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