ravage

noun
rav·​age | \ ˈra-vij How to pronounce ravage (audio) \

Definition of ravage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an act or practice of ravaging
2 : damage resulting from ravaging : violently destructive effect the ravages of time

ravage

verb
ravaged; ravaging

Definition of ravage (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to wreak havoc on : affect destructively a land ravaged by war

intransitive verb

: to commit destructive actions

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from ravage

Verb

ravagement \ ˈra-​vij-​mənt How to pronounce ravagement (audio) \ noun
ravager noun

Synonyms for ravage

Synonyms: Verb

destroy, devastate, ruin, scourge

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for ravage

Verb

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 ravage in a Sentence

Verb

Hurricane Andrew ravaged Louisiana and Florida in 1992, causing $19 billion in damage.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Pelicans swoop and sailboats tack in the bay below, but the brilliant blue of the San Francisco afternoon is something of a guilty pleasure considering that on the other edge of America, Hurricane Florence is exacting its final ravages. Rob Haskell, Vogue, "Billionaire Democrat Tom Steyer on Impeaching Trump, Getting Out the Vote, and Winning in 2020," 14 Nov. 2018 But after the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, and the inevitable ravages of time, Weeksville gradually disappeared, existing only in books and yellowing newspapers. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Pyer Moss Show Will Be Held in Weeksville, One of America’s First Free Black Communities," 7 Sep. 2018 Tange’s jewel, with a soaring roofline that still defines modern architecture, symbolized Japan’s revival just 19 years after the ravages of World War II. Stephen Wade, The Seattle Times, "Tokyo’s 1964 Olympics echo through the city’s 2020 games," 22 July 2018 Understanding which species might grow and feed on different areas of a painting can help museums preserve artwork against the ravages of time and microbiology. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "What’s eating this 400-year-old painting? A whole ecosystem of microbes," 11 Dec. 2018 Young activists, who will be forced to live with the ravages of climate change, find this upsetting. David Roberts, Vox, "The Green New Deal, explained," 21 Dec. 2018 While rain in recent weeks has been welcome, much more is needed to repair the economic and environmental ravages of the extended dry spell. Kirsty Wigglesworth, The Seattle Times, "Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town," 17 Oct. 2018 There is one thing that protects against the potential ravages of a sedentary lifestyle: exercise. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Americans sit too much. Standing desks aren’t going to fix the problem.," 20 Nov. 2018 Apparently, Lenny Kravitz is immune to the ravages of time. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Lenny Kravitz Just Proved Why 50 is the New 20 at This Year’s American Music Awards," 10 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Once again, the state of California is being ravaged by a series of wildfires, which have displaced hundreds of thousands of residents and killed 31 people to date, according to CNN. Maggie Mallon, Glamour, "Here's How You Can Help Victims of the California Wildfires," 12 Nov. 2018 Some rural communities to the north were also ravaged. Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "Hurricane Michael Claims at Least 15 Lives," 13 Oct. 2018 Syria has been ravaged by civil war since March 2011. Sarah Mearhoff, Teen Vogue, "Angelina Jolie Made the Case for Refugee Education in a Powerful Op-Ed," 29 Aug. 2018 Only Spain and Greece, whose economies have been ravaged by the euro-zone crisis, have more households earning less than half the nation's median income - an indicator that unusually large numbers of people either are poor or close to being poor. Andrew Van Dam, chicagotribune.com, "Is it great to be a worker in the U.S.? Not compared with the rest of the developed world.," 5 July 2018 Only Spain and Greece, whose economies have been ravaged by the euro-zone crisis, have more households earning less than half the nation’s median income — an indicator that unusually large numbers of people either are poor or close to being poor. Andrew Van Dam, latimes.com, "The economy is hot, yet many U.S. workers feel left behind. A new report sheds some light," 5 July 2018 Only Spain and Greece, whose economies have been ravaged by the euro-zone crisis, have more households earning less than half the nation’s median income — an indicator that unusually large numbers of people either are poor or close to being poor. Andrew Van Dam, BostonGlobe.com, "Limited unionization and government aid hold back US workers, study says," 4 July 2018 Assets may be ravaged by rising sea levels or other climate calamities. The Economist, "Markets may be underpricing climate-related risk," 23 May 2018 The country had long been ravaged by religious and ethnic tensions. Susan Snyder, Philly.com, "Dickinson College president opens doors to former captives of terrorist group, and it's not the first time," 18 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ravage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ravage

Noun

circa 1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1602, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for ravage

Noun

French, from Middle French, from ravir to ravish — more at ravish

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ravage

Dictionary Entries near ravage

Rauschquinte

rauvite

rauwolfia

ravage

rave

ravehook

ravel

Statistics for ravage

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ravage

The first known use of ravage was in 1602

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ravage

ravage

verb

English Language Learners Definition of ravage

formal : to damage or harm (something) very badly

ravage

noun
rav·​age | \ ˈra-vij How to pronounce ravage (audio) \

Kids Definition of ravage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: destructive action or effect the ravages of disease

ravage

verb
ravaged; ravaging

Kids Definition of ravage (Entry 2 of 2)

: to attack or act upon with great violence The forest was ravaged by fire.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on ravage

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ravage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ravage

Spanish Central: Translation of ravage

Nglish: Translation of ravage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ravage for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ravage

What made you want to look up ravage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!