Advertisement

Destroy vs. destruct

  •  
  • Destruct is a mostly unnecessary variant of the verb destroy. Derived in the 17th century by backformation from destruction (destroy‘s corresponding noun), destruct had mostly faded from the language by the mid-1900s, when it was revived in rocketry and in the phrases self-destruct and auto-destruct. Outside these uses, destruct can usually give way to destroy.

     

    1 To 1 English native Teachers,  the best way to improve your English!
    Click here to find out more!

    Examples

    In rocket science, to destruct means to destroy (a craft) intentionally after launch, usually due to defective performance—for example:

    Advertisement

    There was no obvious reason to send the destruct signal, since the rotation of the Earth would carry the missile out over the Pacific. [The Space Review]

    Because the following examples have nothing to do with science, there’s no reason that destruct should not be changed to destroy (though perhaps the writers feel destruct sounds better):

    [H]e has been able to create a team that is built for the long haul, and won’t destruct itself from within. [Fox 11 Online]

    The agitated mob not only stopped at this but further went on to destruct the AIR and Doordarshan offices. [Ganpati News]

    Advertisement

    Speak Your Mind

    About Grammarist
    Contact | Privacy policy | Home
    © Copyright 2009-2014 Grammarist