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devastate

[dev-uh-steyt] /ˈdɛv əˌsteɪt/
verb (used with object), devastated, devastating.
1.
to lay waste; render desolate:
The invaders devastated the city.
Synonyms: destroy, sack, despoil, raze, ruin, level.
Antonyms: create, erect, develop.
2.
to overwhelm.
Origin of devastate
1625-1635
1625-35; < Latin dēvastātus laid waste (past participle of dēvastāre), equivalent to dē- de- + vast(āre) to lay waste (akin to vastus empty) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
devastative, adjective
devastator, noun
undevastated, adjective
Synonym Study
1. See ravage.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for devastate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The gale hurried on to devastate fresh fields and pastures new.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
  • Of what use to him would it be to devastate this little realm?

    The World Beyond Raymond King Cummings
  • That stream when it overfloods will devastate its borders and destroy its bridges.

    Psychotherapy Hugo Mnsterberg
  • He grants us lands for pastures and abodes To devastate them by his iron roads.

    Custer, and Other Poems. Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  • Let her arise, not to devastate and to conquer, but to reëstablish the reign of peace and law.

    America First

    Various
British Dictionary definitions for devastate

devastate

/ˈdɛvəˌsteɪt/
verb (transitive)
1.
to lay waste or make desolate; ravage; destroy
2.
to confound or overwhelm, as with grief or shock
Derived Forms
devastation, noun
devastative, adjective
devastator, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin dēvastāre, from de- + vastāre to ravage; related to vastus waste, empty
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 devastate
v.

1630s, perhaps a back-formation from devastation. Apparently not common until 19c.; earlier verb form devast is attested from 1530s, from Middle French devaster. Related: devastated; devastating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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13
14
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