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devastate Line breaks: dev¦as|tate
Pronunciation: /ˈdɛvəsteɪt/

Definition of devastate in English:


[with object]
1Destroy or ruin: the city was devastated by a huge earthquake
More example sentences
  • Residents who claim a wind farm on the fells would destroy the landscape and devastate tourism are being urged to oppose the development before it even becomes a formal proposal.
  • All this can devastate lives, destroy relationships, disrupt work, cloud effective thinking, and affect physical health and ruin futures.
  • There's big, bad weather devastating the farms.
destroy, ruin, leave in ruins, wreck, lay waste, wreak havoc on, ravage, ransack, leave desolate, demolish, raze (to the ground), level, flatten, annihilate
2Cause (someone) severe and overwhelming shock or grief: she was devastated by the loss of Damian
More example sentences
  • The sand bird mother was totally devastated by her loss, and cried out her grief in the jungle.
  • She was devastated and traumatised in the aftermath of the Pullathomas landslide.
  • Without hesitation, the young man complies, even though the loss of this catch devastates him.
shatter, shock, stun, daze, dumbfound, traumatize, crush, overwhelm, overcome, greatly upset, distress


Mid 17th century: from Latin devastat- 'laid waste', from the verb devastare, from de- 'thoroughly' + vastare 'lay waste'.



Pronunciation: /ˈdɛvəsteɪtə/
Example sentences
  • But he also talked Cate Blanchett into daring to recreate a truly beloved Hollywood figure in Kate Hepburn, all the while knowing that if it went wrong, it could be a career devastator.
  • Shackled tightly by luxury tax constraints, the Celtics were not able to re-sign the versatile Rogers or much-vaunted defensive devastator Erick Strickland.

Words that rhyme with devastate

salivate • elevate

Definition of devastate in:

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