[ 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

OTHER WORDS FROM devastating

dev·as·tat·ing·ly, adverbun·dev·as·tat·ing, adjectiveun·dev·as·tat·ing·ly, adverb

Definition for devastating (2 of 2)

[ dev-uh-steyt ]
/ ˈdɛv əˌsteɪt /

verb (used with object), dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing.

to lay waste; render desolate: The invaders devastated the city.
to overwhelm.

Origin of devastate

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


dev·as·ta·tive, adjectivedev·as·ta·tor, nounun·dev·as·tat·ed, adjective

synonym study for devastate

1. See ravage. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for devastating

British Dictionary definitions for devastating (1 of 2)

/ (ˈdɛvəˌsteɪtɪŋ) /


extremely effective in a destructive waya devastating war; a devastating report on urban deprivation

Derived forms of devastating

devastatingly, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for devastating (2 of 2)

/ (ˈdɛvəˌsteɪt) /

verb (tr)

to lay waste or make desolate; ravage; destroy
to confound or overwhelm, as with grief or shock

Derived forms of devastate

devastation, noundevastative, adjectivedevastator, noun

Word Origin for devastate

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