• synonyms


  1. tending or threatening to devastate: a devastating fire.
  2. satirical, ironic, or caustic in an effective way: a devastating portrayal of society.
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Origin of devastating

First recorded in 1625–35; devastate + -ing2
Related formsdev·as·tat·ing·ly, adverbun·dev·as·tat·ing, adjectiveun·dev·as·tat·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for devastatingly

Contemporary Examples of devastatingly

Historical Examples of devastatingly

  • 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.

  • It is a devastatingly attractive thing—but almost impossible to explain.

    The Double Spy

    Dan T. Moore

British Dictionary definitions for devastatingly


  1. extremely effective in a destructive waya devastating war; a devastating report on urban deprivation
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Derived Formsdevastatingly, 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

Word Origin and History for devastatingly



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper