[ rav-ij ]
/ ˈræv ɪdʒ /
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See synonyms for: ravage / ravaged / ravages / ravaging on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), rav·aged, rav·ag·ing.

to work havoc upon; damage or mar by ravages: a face ravaged by grief.

verb (used without object), rav·aged, rav·ag·ing.

to work havoc; do ruinous damage.


havoc; ruinous damage: the ravages of war.
devastating or destructive action.



In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Origin of ravage

First recorded in 1605–15; from French, Middle French, equivalent to rav(ir) “to snatch away, ravish” + -age noun suffix; see ravish, -age
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.
rav·age·ment, nounrav·ag·er, nounun·rav·aged, adjective
ravage , ravish
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for ravage

/ (ˈrævɪdʒ) /


to cause extensive damage to


(often plural) destructive actionthe ravages of time
ravagement, nounravager, noun
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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