- to lay waste; render desolate: The invaders devastated the city.
- to overwhelm.
Origin of devastate
1. See ravage.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for devastate
Grotesque profiteering aside, life release ceremonies can devastate the eco-system.The Buddhist Business of Poaching Animals for Good Karma
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If Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing for a new offensive, he could devastate Ukrainian forces.Thousands of Putin’s Troops Now in Ukraine, Analysts Say
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A Grad is a multiple rocket launcher designed to devastate a defined but extensive area.MH17 Black Box ‘Sent to Moscow for Investigation’
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Kenneth recognizes the terrible truths of our existence: that gun violence will continue to devastate and degrade everyone.If Gun Violence Is A Disease, These People Might Just Be The Cure
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They'd devastate priorities like education, energy, and medical research.Full Text and Video of President Obama's 2013 State of the Union Address
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The gale hurried on to devastate fresh fields and pastures new.The First Violin
Of what use to him would it be to devastate this little realm?The World Beyond
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That stream when it overfloods will devastate its borders and destroy its bridges.Psychotherapy
He grants us lands for pastures and abodes To devastate them by his iron roads.Custer, and Other Poems.
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Let her arise, not to devastate and to conquer, but to reëstablish the reign of peace and law.America First</p>
- to lay waste or make desolate; ravage; destroy
- to confound or overwhelm, as with grief or shock
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
Word Origin and History for devastate
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper