Dictionary

1desolate

adjective des·o·late \ˈde-sə-lət, ˈde-zə-\

: lacking the people, plants, animals, etc., that make people feel welcome in a place

: very sad and lonely especially because someone you love has died or left

Full Definition of DESOLATE

1
:  devoid of inhabitants and visitors :  deserted
2
:  joyless, disconsolate, and sorrowful through or as if through separation from a loved one <a desolate widow>
3
a :  showing the effects of abandonment and neglect :  dilapidated <a desolate old house>
b :  barren, lifeless <a desolate landscape>
c :  devoid of warmth, comfort, or hope :  gloomy <desolate memories>
des·o·late·ly adverb
des·o·late·ness noun
ADVERTISEMENT

Examples of DESOLATE

  1. <a desolate house abandoned many years ago>
  2. <destitute and desolate since her husband walked out on her>

Origin of DESOLATE

Middle English desolat, from Latin desolatus, past participle of desolare to abandon, from de- + solus alone
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of DESOLATE

alone, solitary, lonely, lonesome, lone, forlorn, desolate mean isolated from others. alone stresses the objective fact of being by oneself with slighter notion of emotional involvement than most of the remaining terms <everyone needs to be alone sometimes>. solitary may indicate isolation as a chosen course <glorying in the calm of her solitary life> but more often it suggests sadness and a sense of loss <left solitary by the death of his wife>. lonely adds to solitary a suggestion of longing for companionship <felt lonely and forsaken>. lonesome heightens the suggestion of sadness and poignancy <an only child often leads a lonesome life>. lone may replace lonely or lonesome but typically is as objective as alone <a lone robin pecking at the lawn>. forlorn stresses dejection, woe, and listlessness at separation from one held dear <a forlorn lost child>. desolate implies inconsolable grief at loss or bereavement <desolate after her brother's death>.

dismal, dreary, bleak, gloomy, cheerless, desolate mean devoid of cheer or comfort. dismal indicates extreme and utterly depressing gloominess <dismal weather>. dreary, often interchangeable with dismal, emphasizes discouragement resulting from sustained dullness or futility <a dreary job>. bleak suggests chill, dull, and barren characteristics that utterly dishearten <the bleak years of the depression>. gloomy often suggests lack of hope or promise <gloomy war news>. cheerless stresses absence of anything cheering <a drab and cheerless office>. desolate adds an element of utter remoteness or lack of human contact to any already disheartening aspect <a desolate outpost>.

2desolate

verb des·o·late \-ˌlāt\

: to make (someone) feel very sad and lonely for a long time

: to damage (a place) in such a way that it is no longer suitable for people to live in

des·o·lat·eddes·o·lat·ing

Full Definition of DESOLATE

transitive verb
:  to make desolate:
a :  to deprive of inhabitants
b :  to lay waste
c :  forsake
d :  to make wretched
des·o·lat·er or des·o·la·tor \-ˌlā-tər\ noun
des·o·lat·ing·ly \-ˌlā-tiŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of DESOLATE

  1. <totally desolated the city with aerial bombs>

First Known Use of DESOLATE

14th century

Related to DESOLATE

Rhymes with DESOLATE

abdicate, abnegate, abrogate, acclimate, acerbate, acetate, activate, actuate, acylate, adsorbate, advocate, adulate, adumbrate, aggravate, aggregate, agitate, allocate, altercate, ambulate, amputate, animate, annotate, annulate, antedate, antiquate, apartheid, apostate, approbate, arbitrate, arcuate, arrogate, aspirate, auscultate, automate, aviate, bantamweight, Bering Strait, bifurcate, billingsgate, bipinnate, boilerplate, bombinate, brachiate, buffer state, cabinmate, cachinnate, calculate, calibrate, caliphate, candidate, cannulate, cantillate, capitate, captivate, carbonate, carbon-date, carinate, carload rate, castigate, catenate, cavitate, celebrate, cerebrate, chlorinate, circinate, circulate, city-state, client state, cogitate, colligate, collimate, collocate, commentate, commutate, compensate, complicate, concentrate, condensate, confiscate, conglobate, conjugate, consecrate, constellate, consternate, constipate, consummate, contemplate, copperplate, copulate, coronate, correlate, corrugate, coruscate, counterweight, crepitate, criminate, cruciate, cucullate, culminate, cultivate, cumulate, cuneate, cupulate, cuspidate, cyclamate, Davis Strait, deaerate, decimate, decollate, decorate, decussate, defalcate, defecate, deflagrate, dehydrate, delegate, demarcate, demonstrate, denigrate, Denmark Strait, depilate, deviate, deprecate, depredate, derivate, derogate, desecrate, desiccate, designate, desquamate, detonate, devastate, deviate, digitate, diplomate, discarnate, dislocate, dissertate, dissipate, distillate, divagate, dominate, double date, edentate, educate, elevate, elongate, eluate, emanate, emigrate, emirate, emulate, enervate, ephorate, escalate, estimate, estivate, excavate, exchange rate, exculpate, execrate, expiate, explicate, expurgate, exsiccate, extirpate, extricate, exudate, fabricate, fascinate, fashion plate, featherweight, fecundate, federate, fenestrate, festinate, fibrillate, first estate, flagellate, flocculate, fluctuate, fluoridate, foliate, formulate, fornicate, fourth estate, fractionate, fragmentate, fulminate, fumigate, fustigate, geminate, generate, germinate, glaciate, Golden Gate, graduate, granulate, gratulate, gravitate, heavyweight, hebetate, herniate, hesitate, hibernate, Hudson Strait, hundredweight, hyphenate, ideate, imamate, imbricate, imitate, immigrate, immolate, impetrate, implicate, imprecate, impregnate, incarnate, increate, incubate, inculcate, inculpate, incurvate, indagate, indicate, indurate, infiltrate, in-line skate, in-migrate, innervate, innovate, insensate, inspissate, instigate, insulate, interstate, intestate, intimate, intonate, intraplate, inundate, invocate, iodate, irrigate, irritate, isolate, iterate, jubilate, juniorate, lacerate, laminate, Latinate, laureate, legislate, levigate, levitate, liberate, license plate, liquidate, litigate, littermate, lubricate, macerate, machinate, magistrate, marginate, margravate, marinate, masticate, masturbate, maturate, mediate, medicate, meditate, meliorate, menstruate, microstate, micturate, middleweight, militate, mithridate, mitigate, moderate, modulate, motivate, multistate, mutilate, nation-state, nauseate, navigate, neonate, nictitate, niobate, nominate, numerate, obfuscate, objurgate, obligate, obovate, obviate, on a plate, operate, opiate, orchestrate, ordinate, oscillate, osculate, out-migrate, out-of-date, overstate, overweight, ovulate, paginate, palliate, palpitate, paperweight, patinate, peculate, penetrate, pennyweight, percolate, perennate, perforate, permeate, perpetrate, personate, police state, pollinate, populate, postulate, potentate, predicate, procreate, profligate, promulgate, propagate, prorogate, pullulate, pulmonate, punctuate, quantitate, rabbinate, radiate, real estate, recreate, re-create, reinstate, relegate, relocate, remonstrate, renovate, replicate, reprobate, resonate, retardate, retranslate, roller-skate, roseate, rubricate, ruinate, ruminate, runagate, running mate, rusticate, sagittate, salivate, sanitate, satiate, saturate, scintillate, second-rate, segregate, self-portrait, separate, sequestrate, seriate, sibilate, silver plate, simulate, sinuate, situate, speculate, spoliate, stablemate, starting gate, steady state, stimulate, stipulate, strangulate, stridulate, stylobate, subjugate, sublimate, subrogate, subulate, suffocate, sultanate, Sunda Strait, supplicate, surrogate, syncopate, syndicate, tablemate, tabulate, target date, terminate, tessellate, tête-à-tête, thirty-eight, titillate, titivate, tolerate, transmigrate, transudate, tribulate, tribunate, trifurcate, trilobate, tripinnate, triplicate, tunicate, turbinate, ulcerate, ululate, umbellate, uncinate, underrate, understate, underweight, undulate, ungulate, urinate, vaccinate, vacillate, validate, valuate, variate, vegetate, venerate, ventilate, vertebrate, vicarate, vindicate, violate, vitiate, water gate, Watergate, welfare state, welterweight
DESOLATINGLY Defined for Kids

1desolate

adjective des·o·late \ˈde-sə-lət\

Definition of DESOLATE for Kids

1
:  having no comfort or companionship :  lonely
2
:  left neglected or in ruins <a desolate old house>
3
:  without signs of life :  barren <a dry, desolate land>
4
:  cheerless, gloomy <She put aside desolate thoughts.>
des·o·late·ly adverb

2desolate

verb des·o·late \ˈde-sə-ˌlāt\
des·o·lat·eddes·o·lat·ing

Definition of DESOLATE for Kids

:  to ruin or leave without comfort or companionship

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: desolationPrevious Word in the Dictionary: desoilAll Words Near: desolate
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears