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


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

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Other Words from ravage


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

Synonyms for ravage

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for ravage


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 His massive wall hangings are inspired by Zimbabwean textiles but his materials are drawn from the ravages of modern waste. Los Angeles Times, "Datebook: How L.A. photographer George Rodriguez chronicled every corner of the city," 17 Oct. 2019 Over the past decade, as the opioid epidemic has spread across the United States, an increasing number of Americans have concluded that the punitive war on drugs has done little to keep Americans safe from the ravages of addiction. David Farber, Twin Cities, "David Farber: How drug-related violence complicates criminal justice reform," 1 Oct. 2019 The idea for a national day to focus on the environment came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Deb Kiner | Dkiner@pennlive.com, oregonlive, "Earth Day will be 50 years old in 2020," 22 Apr. 2019 His massive wall hangings are inspired by Zimbabwean textiles but his materials are drawn from the ravages of modern waste. Los Angeles Times, "Datebook: Stark domestic scenes by German painter Lenz Geerk," 13 Sep. 2019 The economy has not recovered, arguably due in significant part to the ravages of state capture and other state failures in the Zuma era. Seán Mfundza Muller, Quartz Africa, "South Africa’s economy is in a perilous state and is running out of time to get fixed," 7 Aug. 2019 The deaths tend to be more widely dispersed and do not involve the devastation of property as do the ravages of wind and water. The Economist, "Heatwaves are killing people," 27 July 2019 The tragedy was shocking even in Venezuela, a nation accustomed to the ravages of a collapsing state, hunger, hyperinflation and rampant crime. New York Times, "She Was Duped and Shipped to a Brothel at 16. Then the Boat Sank.," 10 July 2019 Heartbroken and frustrated by the ravages caused by both the disease and powerful chemotherapy drugs, Cottrell began his search for alternative treatments. Stacey Mckenna, azcentral, "Everyday faces of cannabis: It’s time to move past the “stoner” stereotype," 26 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Hurricane Irma ravaged Saint John in September 2017, destroying the couple’s apartment and the building that housed The Thirsty Donkey. Carla Jean Whitley, al, "This new eatery brings Caribbean food and flair to Avondale," 11 Nov. 2019 Between late 2017 and 2018, Florida was ravaged by one of the worst red tide blooms in its history covering over 150 miles of west coast beaches. Joe Mario Pedersen, orlandosentinel.com, "Red tide problem escalates off Florida’s west coast," 7 Nov. 2019 Southern California has been ravaged by wildfires over the past few weeks. Li Cohen, CBS News, "Matthew McConaughey pitches in to help California wildfire first responders," 4 Nov. 2019 Two Octobers ago, a series of devastating blazes — including what was at the time the most destructive wildfire in state history — ravaged the area. Catherine Ho, SFChronicle.com, "PG&E says it may be ready to begin restoring power to frustrated, restless residents," 30 Oct. 2019 Our home along with neighbors’ are continually being ravaged by hundreds of vultures, costing thousands of dollars in damage. Tony Doris, Harper's magazine, "Property Buzzards," 28 Oct. 2019 Duras did look ravaged in her later years — mostly because of alcoholism, though. Catherine Texier, Longreads, "I’m 72. So What?," 24 Oct. 2019 Over the years, parts of the Aravalis, especially in Haryana, have been ravaged or lost due to rampant mining. Bahar Dutt, Quartz India, "Two Indian cities lead the way in transforming concrete jungles into real jungles," 22 Oct. 2019 The Black Death ravaged medieval Western Europe, wiping out roughly one-third of the population. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Researchers find just two plague strains wiped out 30%-60% of Europe," 14 Oct. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of ravage


circa 1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1602, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for ravage


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

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Time Traveler for ravage

Time Traveler

The first known use of ravage was in 1602

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Statistics for ravage

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Ravage.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ravaged. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for ravage



English Language Learners Definition of ravage

formal : to damage or harm (something) very badly


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


ravaged; ravaging

Kids Definition of ravage (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on ravage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ravage

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ravage

Spanish Central: Translation of ravage

Nglish: Translation of ravage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ravage for Arabic Speakers

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