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devastation

[dev-uh-stey-shuh n] /ˌdɛv əˈsteɪ ʃən/
noun
1.
the act of devastating; destruction.
2.
devastated state; desolation.
Origin
late Middle English
1425-1475
1425-75; late Middle English < Late Latin dēvastātiōn- (stem of dēvastātiō), equivalent to Latin dēvastāt(us) (see devastate) + -iōn- -ion
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for devastation
  • Adding to parental devastation is the usual mystery of why a stillbirth occurred.
  • Katrina taught us what devastation extreme weather can inflict on colleges.
  • But farther south, where the devastation and disorder was much more severe, anger set in.
  • Researchers have confirmed a long-suspected link between logging and the devastation of forest fires in tropical rain forests.
  • It's bad enough that all this ecological devastation is for a pill that doesn't even work.
  • The devastation of that city drew gold out of the world's major money centers.
  • Not far below these directives is the implementation of strategies designed to stave off the after-effects of devastation.
  • But such devastation can be measured in dollars, as well as lives.
  • Watch video from inside a tornado, create your own hurricane, and see photos of tsunami devastation.
  • It's common in areas of devastation for rescuers to tag names on newly created landmarks.
Word Origin and History for devastation
n.

mid-15c., from Middle French dévastation, from Late Latin devastationem (nominative devastatio), from past participle stem of Latin devastare "lay waste completely," from de- "completely" (see de-) + vastare "lay waste," from vastus "empty, desolate" (see waste (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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