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

devastatingly \ -​ˌstā-​tiŋ-​lē How to pronounce devastatingly (audio) \ adverb
devastation \ ˌde-​və-​ˈstā-​shən How to pronounce devastation (audio) \ noun
devastative \ ˈde-​və-​ˌstā-​tiv How to pronounce devastative (audio) \ adjective
devastator \ -​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

If Zac Efron has been your celebrity crush since High School Musical premiered in 2006, you might be slightly devastated to know that the actor is rumored to be off the market these days. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Everything You Need to Know About Zac Efron's Love Life," 6 Mar. 2019 When Calls the Heart devastated its loyal viewers when the show revealed the heartbreaking death of Jack Thornton during the season 5 finale. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Why Did 'When Calls the Heart' Star Daniel Lissing Really Leave the Show?," 24 Feb. 2019 Carlos Román Román, an administrator at the Department of Labor and Human Resources in Puerto Rico, said those efforts were expanding even before Maria devastated the island in 2017. Erin Ailworth And, WSJ, "In Need of Workers, the Midwest Recruits From Puerto Rico," 14 Feb. 2019 After Puerto Rico was devastated by a massive hurricane last year, Musk sent Tesla Powerwall batteries and offered solar services to help rebuild the island's electrical grid. Ashley Wong, USA TODAY, "Elon Musk is sending a team to Thailand to help with cave rescue," 6 July 2018 Sun, Sea, Renewal Where to tap into the resilient spirit of San Juan, Puerto Rico, a year after Hurricane Maria devastated the island San Juan’s La Placita Market and Square. Sara Clemence, WSJ, "Puerto Rico on the Rebound: A Three-Day Getaway Guide," 26 Dec. 2018 Attorneys argued that many families lost homes when Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and would effectively be left homeless if the TSA program ended. Cristela Guerra, BostonGlobe.com, "Judge orders FEMA to extend stays for Puerto Rican evacuees," 3 July 2018 The first was the Justinian Plague, which started in Constantinople around the year 541 CE and devastated the Byzantine Empire until the middle of the eighth century. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Medieval European plague genomes hint at Black Death’s travels," 5 Dec. 2018 Varchie fans were devastated to see Archie breaking up with Veronica, but KJ says that there's still hope for the couple. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "KJ Apa Accidentally Reveals What Happens To Archie and Jughead In The Next “Riverdale” Episode," 29 Nov. 2018

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

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devant

devast

devastate

devastated

devastating

deve

Statistics for devastate

Last Updated

20 Mar 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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