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devastate

[dev-uh-steyt] /ˈdɛv əˌsteɪt/
verb (used with object), devastated, devastating.
1.
to lay waste; render desolate:
The invaders devastated the city.
Synonyms: destroy, sack, despoil, raze, ruin, level.
Antonyms: create, erect, develop.
2.
to overwhelm.
Origin of devastate
1625-1635
1625-35; < Latin dēvastātus laid waste (past participle of dēvastāre), equivalent to dē- de- + vast(āre) to lay waste (akin to vastus empty) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
devastative, adjective
devastator, noun
undevastated, adjective
Synonym Study
1. See ravage.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for devastate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Our duty was to subsist ourselves and devastate the country as completely as possible, taking good care not to get captured.

  • He grants us lands for pastures and abodes To devastate them by his iron roads.

    Custer, and Other Poems. Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  • Then the Tories again began to pillage and devastate the Broad River region.

    Stories Of Georgia Joel Chandler Harris
  • He shouted, Ive got a chocolate stick, too, and Im going to devastate that!

    Roy Blakeley's Motor Caravan Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • The lust of power and of supremacy had begun to pave the way for the civil war which was soon to devastate the land.

    In the Wars of the Roses Evelyn Everett-Green
British Dictionary definitions for devastate

devastate

/ˈdɛvəˌsteɪt/
verb (transitive)
1.
to lay waste or make desolate; ravage; destroy
2.
to confound or overwhelm, as with grief or shock
Derived Forms
devastation, noun
devastative, adjective
devastator, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin dēvastāre, from de- + vastāre to ravage; related to vastus waste, empty
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 devastate
v.

1630s, perhaps a back-formation from devastation. Apparently not common until 19c.; earlier verb form devast is attested from 1530s, from Middle French devaster. Related: devastated; devastating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Difficulty index for devastate

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Word Value for devastate

13
14
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