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

Synonyms for devastate

Synonyms

destroy, ravage, ruin, scourge

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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

Meza's wife, Tina, told The Daily Beasthe'd been devastated by the accusations. Dan Horn, Cincinnati.com, "Marathoner found dead after Cincinnati cheating website questioned his times," 5 July 2019 Over the past month, these farms have been devastated by historic rainfall, flooding and tornados. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland.com, "Ohio seeks disaster aid for state’s farmers after record rainfall," 5 July 2019 Arthur Peace, whose family owned two Spur franchises in the predominantly white suburbs north of Cape Town, said business was devastated by the boycott. New York Times, "Boycott by Whites of South African Restaurant Reflects Growing Sense of Grievance," 29 June 2019 Tonia Dardar's three children are devastated by her loss, relatives said. Michelle Hunter, NOLA.com, "Families try to sort fact from rumor after Jefferson Parish triple homicide," 22 May 2018 After devastating fires in Southern California, the state Public Utilities Commission in 2012 gave San Diego Gas & Electric approval to run a program that’s been a model for PG&E’s plan. Ethan Baron, The Mercury News, "PG&E fire-safety shutdowns: ‘We’re all freaking out about it’," 23 June 2019 Atlanta, Baltimore, and Greenville, N.C. would later grind to a halt after devastating computer outages disrupted everything from the collection of parking tickets to the sale of new homes. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Artificial Intelligence Is About to Make Ransomware Hack Attacks Even Scarier," 21 June 2019 Kevin Durant’s devastating Achilles injury surely rocked New York, which spent all season preparing for his free agency. Ben Golliver, The Denver Post, "2019 NBA mock draft: How will Pelicans build around Zion Williamson?," 18 June 2019 Yes, the Finals were overshadowed by devastating injuries to Golden State Warriors stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. Aj Neuharth-keusch, USA TODAY, "'A whole country': Raptors fans, players go wild after franchise wins first NBA title," 14 June 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near devastate

devance

devant

devast

devastate

devastated

devastating

deve

Statistics for devastate

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for devastate

The first known use of devastate was in 1638

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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.

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Comments on devastate

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