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desolate

[adjective des-uh-lit; verb des-uh-leyt] /adjective ˈdɛs ə lɪt; verb ˈdɛs əˌleɪt/
adjective
1.
barren or laid waste; devastated:
a treeless, desolate landscape.
2.
deprived or destitute of inhabitants; deserted; uninhabited.
3.
solitary; lonely:
a desolate place.
4.
having the feeling of being abandoned by friends or by hope; forlorn.
5.
dreary; dismal; gloomy:
desolate prospects.
verb (used with object), desolated, desolating.
6.
to lay waste; devastate.
7.
to deprive of inhabitants; depopulate.
8.
to make disconsolate.
9.
to forsake or abandon.
Origin of desolate
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English < Latin dēsōlātus forsaken, past participle of dēsōlāre, equivalent to dē- de- + sōlāre to make lonely, derivative of sōlus sole1; see -ate1
Related forms
desolately, adverb
desolateness, noun
desolater, desolator, noun
quasi-desolate, adjective
quasi-desolately, adverb
Can be confused
desolate, dissolute.
Synonyms
1. ravaged. 2. desert. 4. lonesome, lost; miserable, wretched, woebegone, woeful, inconsolable, cheerless, hopeless. 6. ravage, ruin. 8. sadden, depress. 9. desert.
Antonyms
4. delighted, happy.
Synonym Study
4.Desolate, disconsolate, forlorn suggest one who is in a sad and wretched condition. The desolate person is deprived of human consolation, relationships, or presence: desolate and despairing. The disconsolate person is aware of the efforts of others to console and comfort, but is unable to be relieved or cheered by them: She remained disconsolate even in the midst of friends. The forlorn person is lost, deserted, or forsaken by friends: wretched and forlorn in a strange city.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for desolately
Historical Examples
  • I could not prompt him to go on, but he presently did so himself, desolately enough.

    Questionable Shapes William Dean Howells
  • "We are now about to get all the news of the neighbourhood," she said desolately.

    Love at Paddington

    W. Pett Ridge
  • "The house won't be like a home without you," said he desolately.

    Our Square and the People in It Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • The square was silent; desolately silent, as only a suburban square can be.

    Basil Wilkie Collins
  • For, methinks, I have been kept a great while from you, desolately alone.

  • The entire scene was desolately savage and forlorn, but attractive.

  • Even did she ride to anchor, desolately lonely, in the Bay of a Thousand Ships.

    Jerry of the Islands Jack London
  • desolately she wandered up the secret trail to Wildenai's bower.

    Their Mariposa Legend Charlotte Herr
  • "I know that you will do whatever you have made up your mind to do," said Lucian, desolately.

    Cashel Byron's Profession George Bernard Shaw
  • As the light broke over the bay, coldly pink and desolately gleaming, Captain Joe got up and looked about him.

    Earth's Enigmas Charles G. D. Roberts
British Dictionary definitions for desolately

desolate

adjective (ˈdɛsəlɪt)
1.
uninhabited; deserted
2.
made uninhabitable; laid waste; devastated
3.
without friends, hope, or encouragement; forlorn, wretched, or abandoned
4.
gloomy or dismal; depressing
verb (transitive) (ˈdɛsəˌleɪt)
5.
to deprive of inhabitants; depopulate
6.
to make barren or lay waste; devastate
7.
to make wretched or forlorn
8.
to forsake or abandon
Derived Forms
desolater, desolator, noun
desolately, adverb
desolateness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin dēsōlāre to leave alone, from de- + sōlāre to make lonely, lay waste, from sōlus alone
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for desolately

desolate

v.

late 14c., from desolate (adj.). Related: Desolated; desolating.

desolate

adj.

mid-14c., "without companions," also "uninhabited," from Latin desolatus, past participle of desolare "leave alone, desert," from de- "completely" (see de-) + solare "make lonely," from solus "alone" (see sole (adj.)). Sense of "joyless" is 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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