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[dev-uh-stey-ting] /ˈdɛv əˌsteɪ tɪŋ/
tending or threatening to devastate:
a devastating fire.
satirical, ironic, or caustic in an effective way:
a devastating portrayal of society.
Origin of devastating
First recorded in 1625-35; devastate + -ing2
Related forms
devastatingly, adverb
undevastating, adjective
undevastatingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for devastatingly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It then passed slowly and devastatingly down the hall and drive.

    More William

    Richmal Crompton
  • It would be devastatingly produced on the occasion of a row, but Sally rarely quarrelled.


    Frank Swinnerton
  • Ellen's marriage broke into Joanna's life quite as devastatingly as Martin's death.

    Joanna Godden Sheila Kaye-Smith
  • And as for the season—McKellar could not remember such a devastatingly dry August since he was a lad at home.

    The Beauty and the Bolshevist Alice Duer Miller
  • It is a devastatingly attractive thing—but almost impossible to explain.

    The Double Spy Dan T. Moore
British Dictionary definitions for devastatingly


extremely effective in a destructive way: a devastating war, a devastating report on urban deprivation
Derived Forms
devastatingly, adverb
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 devastatingly



1630s, present participle adjective from devastate. Trivial use by 1889.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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