: causing great damage or harm
- a devastating flood/earthquake
- A devastating coastal tsunami could also result from a severe displacement of the San Andreas Fault.
- —Gary Sandquist
: causing extreme emotional pain
- Even the most banal domestic melodramas, readers come to understand, are experienced as devastating tragedies by children living them for the first time.
- —Entertainment Weekly
: extremely effective or powerful
- He had a devastating wit and an utter contempt for shoddy work in physics.
- —Jeremy Bernstein
Some people recover readily from the infection, but in others it becomes disseminated, spreading rapidly and devastatingly from lungs to bones, skin and nervous system
Postcards from the Edge is a devastatingly savvy, bitingly funny, yet sad movie based on Carrie Fisher's autobiographical novel about Hollywood.
… is portrayed as a devastatingly effective power broker in the Senate.