Simple Definition of devastate
: to destroy much or most of (something) : to cause great damage or harm to (something)
: to cause (someone) to feel extreme emotional pain
Full Definition of devastate
1 : to bring to ruin or desolation by violent action <a country devastated by war>
2 : to reduce to chaos, disorder, or helplessness : overwhelm <devastated by grief> <her wisecrack devastated the class>
devastatinglyplay \-ˌstā-tiŋ-lē\ adverb
devastationplay \ˌde-və-ˈstā-shən\ noun
devastativeplay \ˈde-və-ˌstā-tiv\ adjective
devastatorplay \-ˌstā-tər\ noun
Examples of devastate in a sentence
The flood devastated the town.
The disease has devastated the area's oak tree population.
The hurricane left the island completely devastated.
Origin and Etymology of devastate
Latin devastatus, past participle of devastare, from de- + vastare to lay waste — more at waste
First Known Use: 1638
Synonym Discussion of devastate
DEVASTATE Defined for Kids
Definition of devastate for Students
1 : to destroy entirely or nearly entirely <The forest was devastated by fire.>
2 : to cause to suffer emotionally <He was devastated by the loss.>
Seen and Heard
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