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desolate

[adj. des-uh-lit; v. des-uh-leyt] /adj. ˈdɛs ə lɪt; v. ˈdɛs əˌleɪt/
adjective
1.
barren or laid waste; devastated:
a treeless, desolate landscape.
2.
deprived or destitute of inhabitants; deserted; uninhabited.
3.
solitary; lonely:
a desolate place.
4.
having the feeling of being abandoned by friends or by hope; forlorn.
5.
dreary; dismal; gloomy:
desolate prospects.
verb (used with object), desolated, desolating.
6.
to lay waste; devastate.
7.
to deprive of inhabitants; depopulate.
8.
to make disconsolate.
9.
to forsake or abandon.
Origin
1325-1375
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
Related forms
desolately, adverb
desolateness, noun
desolater, desolator, noun
quasi-desolate, adjective
quasi-desolately, adverb
Can be confused
desolate, dissolute (see synonym study at the current entry)
Synonyms
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.
Antonyms
4. delighted, happy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for desolate
  • 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.
  • Mining destroys existing working landscape and replaces it with a desolate moonscape.
  • But for now, this sad, desolate branch of the menu reeks of missed opportunity.
  • People won't ride bikes and busses into desolate places in foul weather.
  • Bring on long empty beaches, a desolate boardwalk and gulls the size of dogs swooping to ride the swells.
  • Vast quantities of oil is produced in desolate locations.
  • Surrounded by rolling green hills, the small commercial city empties quickly at nightfall, giving it a desolate feeling.
British Dictionary definitions for desolate

desolate

adjective (ˈdɛsəlɪt)
1.
uninhabited; deserted
2.
made uninhabitable; laid waste; devastated
3.
without friends, hope, or encouragement; forlorn, wretched, or abandoned
4.
gloomy or dismal; depressing
verb (transitive) (ˈdɛsəˌleɪt)
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
Derived Forms
desolater, desolator, noun
desolately, adverb
desolateness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin dēsōlāre to leave alone, from de- + sōlāre to make lonely, lay waste, from sōlus alone
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 desolate
desolate
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
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