ravage, devastate, waste, sack, pillage, despoil mean to lay waste by plundering or destroying. ravage implies violent often cumulative depredation and destruction.
a hurricane ravaged the coast devastate implies the complete ruin and desolation of a wide area.
an earthquake devastated the city waste may imply producing the same result by a slow process rather than sudden and violent action.
years of drought had wasted the area sack implies carrying off all valuable possessions from a place.
barbarians sacked ancient Rome pillage implies ruthless plundering at will but without the completeness suggested by sack.
settlements pillaged by Vikings despoil applies to looting or robbing without suggesting accompanying destruction.
the Nazis despoiled the art museums
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.
Recent Examples on the WebThis is an open door for Chinese companies to devastate up to half of European car sales.
Neil Winton, Forbes, 24 July 2022 But in 2019, wildfires raged around his property—part of the massive outbreak of flames called the Black Summer that would devastate much of Australia and draw international attention.
Madeline Ostrander, The Atlantic, 23 July 2022 That’s money that could be going towards adapting to a changing climate, reducing poverty, and improving public health, which global warming is expected to devastate.
Rohan Montgomery, The New Republic, 26 June 2022 Christopher Flavelle reports for the New York Times that the drought also could devastate wildlife populations, with flies and brine shrimp dying off, leaving migratory birds without a food source.
Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 July 2022 In the last few years, an unprecedented invasion of Sargassum, an algae that, in abundance, can devastate coastal ecosystems, economies, and human health, is threatening sea life in the area and reducing visibility in the Caribbean.
Jessica Mathews, Fortune, 28 June 2022 Multiplied by millions, even a partial withdrawal from the global economy would devastate the incomes of those with little choice but to stay in.
Michelle Nijhuis, The New York Review of Books, 25 May 2022 But apart from affecting the people of Shenzhen, who are dealing with more COVID cases and lost wages, supply chain experts say the impact of the lockdown will devastate global imports and exports of crucial goods for the foreseeable future.
Andrew Marquardt, Fortune, 14 Mar. 2022 After initial worries that the pandemic would devastate book sales, publishers have recorded strong profits in the past two years and independent sellers have endured.
Hillel Italie, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 June 2022 See More
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'devastate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.