ravage 1 of 2


2 of 2


Synonym Chooser

How does the verb ravage contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of ravage are despoil, devastate, pillage, sack, and waste. While all these words mean "to lay waste by plundering or destroying," ravage implies violent often cumulative depredation and destruction.

a hurricane ravaged the coast

When would despoil be a good substitute for ravage?

In some situations, the words despoil and ravage are roughly equivalent. However, despoil applies to looting or robbing without suggesting accompanying destruction.

the Nazis despoiled the art museums

When is it sensible to use devastate instead of ravage?

While the synonyms devastate and ravage are close in meaning, devastate implies the complete ruin and desolation of a wide area.

an earthquake devastated the city

How are the words pillage and sack related as synonyms of ravage?

Pillage implies ruthless plundering at will but without the completeness suggested by sack.

settlements pillaged by Vikings

Where would sack be a reasonable alternative to ravage?

The meanings of sack and ravage largely overlap; however, sack implies carrying off all valuable possessions from a place.

barbarians sacked ancient Rome

In what contexts can waste take the place of ravage?

While in some cases nearly identical to ravage, waste may imply producing the same result by a slow process rather than sudden and violent action.

years of drought had wasted the area

Thesaurus Entries Near ravage

Cite this Entry

“Ravage.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/ravage. Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on ravage

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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