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ravage

[rav-ij] /ˈræv ɪdʒ/
verb (used with object), ravaged, ravaging.
1.
to work havoc upon; damage or mar by ravages:
a face ravaged by grief.
verb (used without object), ravaged, ravaging.
2.
to work havoc; do ruinous damage.
noun
3.
havoc; ruinous damage:
the ravages of war.
4.
devastating or destructive action.
Origin
1605-1615
1605-15; < French, Middle French, equivalent to rav(ir) to ravish + -age -age
Related forms
ravagement, noun
ravager, noun
unravaged, adjective
Can be confused
ravage, ravish.
ravenous, ravaging, ravishing (see synonym study at ravenous)
Synonyms
1. ruin, despoil, plunder, pillage, sack. 4. ruin, waste, desolation.
Antonyms
1. build, repair. 4. creation.
Synonym Study
1. Ravage, devastate, lay waste all refer, in their literal application, to the wholesale destruction of a countryside by an invading army (or something comparable). Lay waste has remained the closest to the original meaning of destruction of land: The invading army laid waste the towns along the coast. But ravage and devastate are used in reference to other types of violent destruction and may also have a purely figurative application. Ravage is often used of the results of epidemics: The Black Plague ravaged 14th-century Europe; and even of the effect of disease or suffering on the human countenance: a face ravaged by despair. Devastate, in addition to its concrete meaning (vast areas devastated by bombs), may be used figuratively: a devastating remark.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for ravaged
  • Plague and countless other illnesses ravaged every community.
  • Ask students to identify diseases that have ravaged human populations throughout history.
  • The ash swelled a nearby river and ravaged a nearby town of the same name.
  • The cowbirds also ravaged warbler nests that were too far along in the brooding process to accept new eggs.
  • Human bones can shatter in accidents, or they can disintegrate when ravaged by disease and time.
  • The affliction had ravaged her nervous system and left her paralyzed.
  • Some have remained autonomous, only ravaged by disease, and maintaining economic strength.
  • Fire-presumably set by still unidentified attackers-had ravaged almost every building.
  • For two centuries, invasive rats on the island have ravaged populations of ground-nesting seabirds.
  • If you didn't succeed within a certain number of turns, the realm was ravaged by an earthquake.
British Dictionary definitions for ravaged

ravage

/ˈrævɪdʒ/
verb
1.
to cause extensive damage to
noun
2.
(often pl) destructive action: the ravages of time
Derived Forms
ravagement, noun
ravager, noun
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Old French ravir to snatch away, ravish
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ravaged

ravage

v.

1610s, from French ravager "lay waste, devastate," from Old French ravage "destruction," especially by flood (14c.), from ravir "to take away hastily" (see ravish). Related: Ravaged; ravaging.

n.

1610s, from French ravage "destruction" (see ravage (v.)). Related: Ravages.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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