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

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 The gilets jaunes are a rejoinder to capitalism’s emotional ravages as much as to its economic ones. Lauren Collins, The New Yorker, "Can Emmanuel Macron Stem the Populist Tide?," 24 June 2019 Suarez is the rare Republican who passionately argues for climate mitigation plans and helped champion the $400 million Miami Forever bond, approved by voters to fund action to protect the city from the ravages of higher seas and stronger storms. Bill Weir, CNN, "Miami's Little Haiti wasn't a target for developers. Until the seas started to rise.," 11 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Hurricanes have ravaged the Caribbean for millennia. Tristram Korten, Smithsonian, "The Bahamas and the Caribbean Have Withstood Hurricanes for Centuries," 17 Sep. 2019 After Hurricane Dorian ravaged the Bahamas earlier this week, native Bahamians and professional basketball players Buddy Hield and Jonquel Jones are stepping up to raise money and donate to aid the country’s disaster relief. Georgia Slater, PEOPLE.com, "Native Bahamian NBA and WNBA Players to Donate $105,000 to UNICEF for Hurricane Relief," 6 Sep. 2019 Sam Shipp moved back into his Emerald Isle house just eight days ago after it was ravaged by Hurricane Florence. Mark Berman, Washington Post, "Hurricane Dorian slams Carolinas with wind, rain and power outages; Bahamas death toll rises to 30," 5 Sep. 2019 Critics have ravaged the indie thriller, directed by Fred Durst, best known as the frontman for Limp Bizkit. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, "Box Office: John Travolta Hits Career Low As 'The Fanatic' Bombs," 31 Aug. 2019 Last year’s California wildfires ravaged Malibu and other areas around there, and Camille and Denise’s homes are right in the middle of it all. Ew Staff, EW.com, "What to Watch on Tuesday: Abby Lee Miller is back to terrorize twinkle-toed youths on Dance Moms," 4 June 2019 But the bug’s recent arrival is still ravaging Abkhazia, where such resources don’t exist. Taylor Weidman, National Geographic, "Invasion of the stink bugs: how a tiny insect roils global communities," 14 May 2019 That same decade, a mysterious epidemic killed more than 95% of the black sea urchins in the Caribbean, while overfishing ravaged fish populations. Washington Post, "Surprise rescue of Jamaica coral reefs shows nature can heal," 17 Sep. 2019 The Mudd, in Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco Island, was an informal settlement, built with abandoned construction materials on low-lying, flood-prone ground, ravaged periodically by fires. Kevin Sieff, chicagotribune.com, "When Hurricane Dorian blew through the Bahamas, it exposed one of the world’s great faultlines of inequality," 16 Sep. 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.

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

Last Updated

4 Oct 2019

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

a bell tower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!