desolation

noun
des·​o·​la·​tion | \ ˌde-sə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce desolation (audio) , ˌde-zə- \

Definition of desolation

1 : the action of desolating the pitiful desolation and slaughter of World War I— D. F. Fleming
2a : grief, sadness … he put his trembling hands to his head, and gave a wild ringing scream, the cry of desolation.— George Eliot
3 : devastation, ruin a scene of utter desolation
4 : barren wasteland looked out across the desolation

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Examples of desolation in a Sentence

She sank into a state of desolation and despair. photos that show the desolation of war
Recent Examples on the Web Noir is a cry of desolation in the face of a universe that is malevolent—or, at best, indifferent. David L. Ulin, The New Republic, "The Enduring Vision of Chinatown," 11 Feb. 2020 But the splendid desolation of the polar landscape compensates for its challenges, Shupe said. Sarah Kaplan, Anchorage Daily News, "Voyagers to the ‘epicenter of global warming’ struggle with storms, polar bears and thin ice," 13 Jan. 2020 The same type of pre-harvest surveys that found desolation in fall 2018 discovered cause for cautious optimism in fall 2019. al, "Alabama oyster harvesters back at work after lost year," 3 Jan. 2020 Obviously, there is a lot of sadness and desolation for us to no longer be in our second home. BostonGlobe.com, "PARIS (AP) — Notre Dame kept Christmas going even during two world wars — a beacon of hope amid the bloodshed.," 21 Dec. 2019 Obviously, there is a lot of sadness and desolation for us to no longer be in our second home. BostonGlobe.com, "PARIS (AP) — Notre Dame kept Christmas going even during two world wars — a beacon of hope amid the bloodshed.," 21 Dec. 2019 Obviously, there is a lot of sadness and desolation for us to no longer be in our second home. Washington Post, "Notre Dame Cathedral to miss first Christmas in centuries," 20 Dec. 2019 But these were only adjectives; the harbor itself did not dwell upon its peacefulness or desolation. New York Times, "A Mother Journeys Through Grief Across Finland’s Many Islands," 12 Nov. 2019 Cyrano's desolation is tempered by a begrudging affection for Christian, who is just tongue-tied enough to be endearing without being an entirely hopeless dolt in Jenner's appealing performance. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Cyrano': Theater Review," 8 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'desolation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of desolation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for desolation

see desolate entry 1

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Time Traveler for desolation

Time Traveler

The first known use of desolation was in the 14th century

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Statistics for desolation

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Desolation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/desolation. Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for desolation

desolation

noun
How to pronounce desolation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of desolation

: extreme sadness caused by loss or loneliness
: the condition of a place or thing that has been damaged in such a way that it is no longer suitable for people to live in : the state or condition of being desolate

desolation

noun
des·​o·​la·​tion | \ ˌde-sə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce desolation (audio) \

Kids Definition of desolation

1 : the state of being deserted or ruined Photos showed the desolation left by the fire.
2 : sadness resulting from grief or loneliness

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More from Merriam-Webster on desolation

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for desolation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with desolation

Spanish Central: Translation of desolation

Nglish: Translation of desolation for Spanish Speakers

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