late 14c., "someone or something that destroys," agent noun from Old French destruire (see destroy). As a type of warship, 1893, originally torpedo-boat destroyer; the class name perhaps from the proper name given to one such ship in the U.S. Navy in 1882.
1. The company is the world's largest destroyer of tropical forests.
2. Sugar is the destroyer of healthy teeth.
3. A destroyer escorted our ship to London.
4. This merchant ship was convoyed by a destroyer.