- tending to destroy; causing destruction or much damage (often followed by of or to): a very destructive windstorm.
- tending to overthrow, disprove, or discredit (opposed to constructive): destructive criticism.
- (often postpositive and foll by of or to) causing or tending to cause the destruction (of)
- intended to disprove or discredit, esp without positive suggestions or help; negativedestructive criticism Compare constructive (def. 1)
late 15c., from Old French destructif (14c.), from Late Latin destructivus, from destruct-, past participle stem of Latin destruere (see destroy).