- barren or laid waste; devastated: a treeless, desolate landscape.
- deprived or destitute of inhabitants; deserted; uninhabited.
- solitary; lonely: a desolate place.
- having the feeling of being abandoned by friends or by hope; forlorn.
- dreary; dismal; gloomy: desolate prospects.
- to lay waste; devastate.
- to deprive of inhabitants; depopulate.
- to make disconsolate.
- to forsake or abandon.
Origin of desolate
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for desolate
Louisa also devotes much of her time to feeding underprivileged children in the desolate Kurland Village in South Africa.These Female Contemporaries Weren’t Afraid of Virginia Woolf
November 20, 2014
Here, only the twisting grey concrete under his tires disturbed the desolate wild.A Belgian Prince, Gorillas, Guerrillas & the Future of the Congo
November 6, 2014
He was visiting San Francisco and had questions about Desolate Angel.Kerouac Biographer Gets Back on the Road
October 2, 2014
But Nev had been betrayed by his church, and his heart-broken death left his family poor and desolate.Tim Winton's Beautiful, Baffling 'Eyrie'
August 18, 2014
Do you remember the scene in which the mayor and his cronies take Dmitri to this desolate place and threaten him with a gun?Inside ‘Leviathan’: Russian Filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Award-Winning Anti-Putin Cannes Film
May 27, 2014
Yet all seemed cheerless; for the heart of Paralus was desolate.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
He was ashamed to be there—ashamed to meet the desolate and, as he believed, erring sister.Night and Morning, Complete
And how desolate was its abandonment, what a stream of silence and solitude it was!The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
To the cast and north of our hill was an expanse of rolling, desolate wilderness.The Long Labrador Trail
All my plans for my work and my life assumed the most gray and desolate hues.The Harbor
- uninhabited; deserted
- made uninhabitable; laid waste; devastated
- without friends, hope, or encouragement; forlorn, wretched, or abandoned
- gloomy or dismal; depressing
- to deprive of inhabitants; depopulate
- to make barren or lay waste; devastate
- to make wretched or forlorn
- to forsake or abandon
Word Origin and History for desolate
late 14c., from desolate (adj.). Related: Desolated; desolating.