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 India’s 400,000 postal workers have become unlikely front-line fighters against the economic and psychological ravages of the coronavirus, assisting consumers, companies and even the government. ... Eric Bellman, WSJ, "Amid Coronavirus Lockdown, India Post Still Delivers—Because Nobody Else Can," 3 May 2020 Those dying have tended to be men in their 60s or older, and almost every one had underlying medical conditions making them vulnerable to the ravages of the virus. Raquel Rutledge, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The charmer, the coach, the firefighter: These are just a few of the lives lost as Wisconsin's coronavirus death toll passes 100," 10 Apr. 2020 The bill will be the fourth economic rescue and stimulus bill Congress has passed in the past two months to deal with the ravages of the coronavirus, bringing the total federal commitment close to $3 trillion. Erica Werner, BostonGlobe.com, "House passes $484 billion bill with money for small businesses, hospitals and testing," 23 Apr. 2020 We were supposed to get a clue as to whether Magic could be enrolled in the crusade to save basketball from the ravages of Air Jordan and company. Jim Murray, Los Angeles Times, "All the NBA world was a stage for Michael Jordan," 20 Apr. 2020 One is our longing to persevere, or even triumph, against the ravages of adversity — especially unjustified adversity. Kyle Smith, National Review, "America’s Favorite Movie," 4 Apr. 2020 One form does all Essential to the success of North Texas Cares is its streamlined process that gets emergency money immediately into the hands of nonprofits dealing with the ravages of the pandemic. Cheryl Hall, Dallas News, "Foundations unite to save embattled North Texas nonprofits," 27 Mar. 2020 Centuries before today's coronavirus pandemic -- almost 500 years ago actually -- people were isolating themselves in an attempt to escape the ravages of the plague. Fox News, "One of the earliest known uses of the F-word found in manuscript from 16th-century plague lockdown," 11 Apr. 2020 If the world is going to break out of its miserable choice between economic lockdowns and the ravages of coronavirus, the best bet is science. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Politicizing Coronavirus Science," 10 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Her dream was upturned after one key element from the movies, the villain, ruined all plans: Covid-19, which has been ravaging India since its appearance in the country in January, and forced the country into a ruthless lockdown. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "Priest on Zoom, borrowed clothes, makeup tutorials: An Indian Covid-19 wedding," 6 May 2020 Some of the largest Filipino enclaves on the East Coast are in the New York City borough of Queens and northern New Jersey — the very places now being ravaged by COVID-19. Nina Martin, ProPublica, "“Similar to Times of War”: The Staggering Toll of COVID-19 on Filipino Health Care Workers," 3 May 2020 In the Central Highlands of Victoria, up snow slopes, Kurzel and his crew found a winter wetland strewn with trees that had been fire-ravaged in the summer months. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "‘True History of the Kelly Gang’ director, stars on their hypnotic outlaw saga," 23 Apr. 2020 Reuters/Flavio Lo Scalzo In February, the coronavirus outbreak began ravaging Italy. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "A record-breaking crowdfunding campaign is helping Italy fight Covid-19," 13 Apr. 2020 In those two weeks, the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has blazed through communities across the country and begun ravaging local healthcare systems. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "We’re in a public health crisis. Where’s the CDC?," 23 Mar. 2020 Much of this vast country was unaffected and remained open for business, and because the fires had ravaged the tourism industry, an individual’s travel dollars were that much more meaningful to the local economy. Jesse Ashlock, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why We're Still Traveling," 4 Mar. 2020 That’s not the only effort aimed at helping rebuild the restaurant ravaged by a Jan. 11 blaze and support Kountry Kitchen employees displaced by the fire. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "Kountry Kitchen GoFundMe campaign raises thousands in 4 days. Here's how you can help.," 20 Jan. 2020 With his squad ravaged by various injuries, Real laboured to an underwhelming 0-0 draw with Real Betis last time out, when the likes of Rodrygo and the misfiring Luka Jovic struggled to inspire Los Blancos' attack. SI.com, "James Rodríguez Set to Miss Galatasaray and Eibar Clashes as Recovery From Muscle Injury Continues," 4 Nov. 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

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ravage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ravage. Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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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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