[adj. des-uh-lit; v. des-uh-leyt]
barren or laid waste; devastated: a treeless, desolate landscape.
deprived or destitute of inhabitants; deserted; uninhabited.
solitary; lonely: a desolate place.
having the feeling of being abandoned by friends or by hope; forlorn.
dreary; dismal; gloomy: desolate prospects.
verb (used with object), desolated, desolating.
to lay waste; devastate.
to deprive of inhabitants; depopulate.
to make disconsolate.
to forsake or abandon.

1325–75; Middle English < Latin dēsōlātus forsaken, past participle of dēsōlāre, equivalent to dē- de- + sōlāre to make lonely, derivative of sōlus sole1; see -ate1

desolately, adverb
desolateness, noun
desolater, desolator, noun
quasi-desolate, adjective
quasi-desolately, adverb

desolate, dissolute (see synonym study at the current entry).

1. ravaged. 2. desert. 4. lonesome, lost; miserable, wretched, woebegone, woeful, inconsolable, cheerless, hopeless. Desolate, disconsolate, forlorn suggest one who is in a sad and wretched condition. The desolate person is deprived of human consolation, relationships, or presence: desolate and despairing. The disconsolate person is aware of the efforts of others to console and comfort, but is unable to be relieved or cheered by them: She remained disconsolate even in the midst of friends. The forlorn person is lost, deserted, or forsaken by friends: wretched and forlorn in a strange city. 6. ravage, ruin. 8. sadden, depress. 9. desert.

4. delighted, happy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To Desolate
World English Dictionary
1.  uninhabited; deserted
2.  made uninhabitable; laid waste; devastated
3.  without friends, hope, or encouragement; forlorn, wretched, or abandoned
4.  gloomy or dismal; depressing
5.  to deprive of inhabitants; depopulate
6.  to make barren or lay waste; devastate
7.  to make wretched or forlorn
8.  to forsake or abandon
[C14: from Latin dēsōlāre to leave alone, from de- + sōlāre to make lonely, lay waste, from sōlus alone]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

late 14c., "without companions," also "uninhabited," from L. desolatus, pp. of desolare "leave alone, desert," from de- "completely" + solare "make lonely." Sense of "joyless" is 15c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The spare, controlled prose gives perfect voice to its desolate tale.
The darkest reaches of the ocean have long been thought of as a desolate biome.
Worst of all, the ultimate and desolate message is that nothing ever changes.
Ultimately, everything in the universe will drift farther and farther apart
  until the universe is uniformly cold and desolate.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature