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90s Slang You Should Know


[rav-ij] /ˈræv ɪdʒ/
verb (used with object), ravaged, ravaging.
to work havoc upon; damage or mar by ravages:
a face ravaged by grief.
verb (used without object), ravaged, ravaging.
to work havoc; do ruinous damage.
havoc; ruinous damage:
the ravages of war.
devastating or destructive action.
Origin of ravage
1605-15; < French, Middle French, equivalent to rav(ir) to ravish + -age -age
Related forms
ravagement, noun
ravager, noun
unravaged, adjective
Can be confused
ravage, ravish.
ravenous, ravaging, ravishing (see synonym study at ravenous)
1. ruin, despoil, plunder, pillage, sack. 4. ruin, waste, desolation.
1. build, repair. 4. creation.
Synonym Study
1. Ravage, devastate, lay waste all refer, in their literal application, to the wholesale destruction of a countryside by an invading army (or something comparable). Lay waste has remained the closest to the original meaning of destruction of land: The invading army laid waste the towns along the coast. But ravage and devastate are used in reference to other types of violent destruction and may also have a purely figurative application. Ravage is often used of the results of epidemics: The Black Plague ravaged 14th-century Europe; and even of the effect of disease or suffering on the human countenance: a face ravaged by despair. Devastate, in addition to its concrete meaning (vast areas devastated by bombs), may be used figuratively: a devastating remark. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ravage
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He contented himself for the moment with making his camp as defensible as possible, and by sending a party to ravage Mewt.

    Rulers of India: Akbar George Bruce Malleson
  • Charles refused battle and allowed them to ravage the suburbs with impunity.

    The Story of Paris Thomas Okey
  • Invasion was borne, with its humiliation and suffering, its train of ravage and desolation.

    The Negro and the Nation George S. Merriam
  • Perhaps this last abomination had been needed to ravage and cure him.

  • At the same time he got an order that no French privateer should ever ravage the Isle of Man.

  • Why are they suffered to ravage the whole country at their will?'

    Gerald Fitzgerald Charles James Lever
  • He shall take the fattest places, and shall do that which his fathers have not done, and ravage on all sides.

    Pascal's Penses Blaise Pascal
  • France was one of their chief fields of ravage and slaughter.

  • Their court had become a scandal to Christendom; Rome was abandoned to ruin and ravage.

British Dictionary definitions for ravage


to cause extensive damage to
(often pl) destructive action: the ravages of time
Derived Forms
ravagement, noun
ravager, noun
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Old French ravir to snatch away, ravish
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 ravage

1610s, from French ravager "lay waste, devastate," from Old French ravage "destruction," especially by flood (14c.), from ravir "to take away hastily" (see ravish). Related: Ravaged; ravaging.


1610s, from French ravage "destruction" (see ravage (v.)). Related: Ravages.


1610s, from French ravage "destruction" (see ravage (v.)). Related: Ravages.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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