- serving or designed to destroy: a destruct mechanism on a missile.
- the act or process of intentional destruction: One out of ten launchings ended in destructs.
verb (used with object)
- to destroy.
verb (used without object)
- to be destroyed.
- to destroy (one’s own missile or rocket) for safety
- (intr) (of a missile or rocket) to be destroyed, for safety, by those controlling it; self-destruct
- the act of destructing
- designed to be capable of destroying itself or the object, system, or installation containing itdestruct mechanism
“to destroy,” 1958, probably a back-formation from destruction in the jargon of U.S. aerospace and defense workers to refer to deliberate destruction of a missile in flight by a friendly agent; popularized 1966 in form self-destruct in the voice-over at the beginning of popular TV spy drama “Mission Impossible.” OED records an isolated use of destruct from 17c., in this case probably from Latin destruct-, past participle stem of destruere.