devastate

verb
dev·​as·​tate | \ ˈde-və-ˌstāt How to pronounce devastate (audio) \
devastated; devastating

Definition of devastate

transitive verb

1 : to bring to ruin or desolation by violent action a country devastated by war The typhoon devastated the island.
2 : to reduce to chaos, disorder, or helplessness : overwhelm devastated by grief Her wisecrack devastated the class.

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Other Words from devastate

devastation \ ˌde-​və-​ˈstā-​shən How to pronounce devastate (audio) \ noun
devastative \ ˈde-​və-​ˌstā-​tiv How to pronounce devastate (audio) \ adjective
devastator \ ˈde-​və-​ˌstā-​tər How to pronounce devastate (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for devastate

Synonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for devastate

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web While damage was minimal, fires set toward the end of the dry season could potentially devastate the wildlife that live there. Scottie Andrew, CNN, 29 Apr. 2021 The long-term implications of enrollment loss could devastate districts like San Francisco already grappling with massive budget deficits. Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 Apr. 2021 Authorities warn that the rapid surge in border areas is accelerating the virus' spread further into Bangladesh, and the increasing number of infections from the delta variant could devastate the South Asian nation of more than 160 million people. Julhas Alam, Star Tribune, 30 June 2021 One unexpected bill can devastate a worker and their family living in developing countries. Frederick Daso, Forbes, 7 June 2021 In Theatre would devastate local sellers at swap meet. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 4 June 2021 Worries among public officials can be summed up like this: If FEMA keeps dawdling on ponying up for last year’s cleanup, any fresh hurricane will devastate our budgets. al, 1 June 2021 Some diseases, like HIV/AIDS, can completely devastate the body's ability to fight infection. Sandee Lamotte And Naomi Thomas, CNN, 16 May 2021 Its results devastate the lives of the victims, their families, the staff and the community. Arthur Benjamin, sun-sentinel.com, 13 May 2021

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.

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First Known Use of devastate

1638, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for devastate

Latin devastatus, past participle of devastare, from de- + vastare to lay waste — more at waste

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Time Traveler for devastate

Time Traveler

The first known use of devastate was in 1638

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Dictionary Entries Near devastate

devance

devant

devast

devastate

devastated

devastating

deve

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Statistics for devastate

Last Updated

16 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Devastate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/devastate. Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for devastate

devastate

verb

English Language Learners 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

devastate

verb
dev·​as·​tate | \ ˈde-və-ˌstāt How to pronounce devastate (audio) \
devastated; devastating

Kids Definition of devastate

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on devastate

Nglish: Translation of devastate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of devastate for Arabic Speakers

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