[adjective des-uh-lit; verb des-uh-leyt]
- barren or laid waste; devastated: a treeless, desolate landscape.
- deprived or destitute of inhabitants; deserted; uninhabited.
- solitary; lonely: a desolate place.
- having the feeling of being abandoned by friends or by hope; forlorn.
- dreary; dismal; gloomy: desolate prospects.
- to lay waste; devastate.
- to deprive of inhabitants; depopulate.
- to make disconsolate.
- to forsake or abandon.
Origin of desolate
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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for desolateness
The desolateness of the poor girls had perhaps been greater than their grief.Two Penniless Princesses
Charlotte M. Yonge
Why does not Dorothea give the real reason for her desolateness?The Essays of "George Eliot"
Its newness and desolateness of appearance revolted me, just then.Basil
Meg felt lonely and blank; and pity mingled with her desolateness.Meg's Friend
Alice Abigail Corkran
There was a kind of desolateness in our life, though we did not understand it at the time.The Two Sides of the Shield
Charlotte M. Yonge
- uninhabited; deserted
- made uninhabitable; laid waste; devastated
- without friends, hope, or encouragement; forlorn, wretched, or abandoned
- gloomy or dismal; depressing
- to deprive of inhabitants; depopulate
- to make barren or lay waste; devastate
- to make wretched or forlorn
- to forsake or abandon
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
Word Origin and History for desolateness
late 14c., from desolate (adj.). Related: Desolated; desolating.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper