AskDefine | Define devastate

Dictionary Definition



1 devastate or ravage; "The enemy lay waste to the countryside after the invasion" [syn: lay waste to, waste, desolate, ravage, scourge]
2 overwhelm or overpower; "He was devastated by his grief when his son died"

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. To ruin many or all things over a large area, such as most or all buildings of a city, or cities of a region, or trees of a forest. Or, destroy a whole collection of related ideas, beliefs, and strongly held opinions. Break beyond recovery or repair so that the only options are abandonment or the clearing away of useless remains (if any) and starting over. Ruin that is shocking, not only showing that something was not indestructable, but also that it was in danger and could and would be assailed.


to ruin many or all things over a large area


Verb form

  1. second-person plural present of devastare

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abash, bring to ruin, chagrin, condemn, confound, consume, damn, deal destruction, decimate, demolish, depopulate, depredate, desecrate, desolate, despoil, destroy, devour, discombobulate, discomfit, disconcert, dispeople, dissolve, embarrass, engorge, flatten, floor, gobble, gobble up, gut, gut with fire, havoc, humiliate, incinerate, lay in ruins, lay waste, level, mortify, nonplus, obliterate, overwhelm, pillage, ravage, raze, ruin, ruinate, sack, shatter, shipwreck, shock, spoil, spoliate, swallow up, take aback, throw into disorder, unleash destruction, unleash the hurricane, unpeople, upheave, vandalize, vaporize, waste, wrack, wreak havoc, wreck
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