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Line breaks: dev¦as|tat¦ing
Pronunciation: /ˈdɛvəsteɪtɪŋ

Definition of devastating in English:


1Highly destructive or damaging: a devastating cyclone
More example sentences
  • This could cripple California's economy and have a more devastating effect than damaging a few warships.
  • The Cook Islands has helped Niue in other ways since the devastating cyclone struck the island early in January.
  • Sixty-five million years ago an asteroid struck the Earth with devastating environmental effect.
2Causing severe shock, distress, or grief: the news came as a devastating blow
More example sentences
  • To lose him so young, so suddenly and in such a savage way is a devastating shock to our family.
  • His death at such an early age has caused widespread grief and has been a devastating shock to his family.
  • The couple married in 2002 after their original wedding plans were shattered because of the devastating blow to Louise's health.
shattering, shocking, traumatic, overwhelming, crushing, extremely upsetting, distressing, severe, savage, terrible, very great
informal gut-wrenching
3 informal Extremely impressive or effective: she had a devastating wit
More example sentences
  • The finish was simple, effective and devastating.
  • The results were devastating and impressive to say the least.
  • But what makes him most effective is a devastating slider, which he uses effectively against righthanders.
gorgeous, stunning, glamorous, dazzling, ravishing, striking, beautiful, lovely, captivating, bewitching, beguiling, engaging, charming, charismatic, enchanting, appealing, arresting, delightful, irresistible, desirable, luscious, sexy, sexually attractive, seductive, alluring
informal fanciable, beddable, tasty, hot, smashing, knockout, drop-dead gorgeous, out of this world, easy on the eye
British informal fit
North American informal cute, foxy
Australian/New Zealand informal spunky
literary beauteous
incisive, highly effective, penetrating, cutting, mordant, trenchant;
withering, blistering, searing, scathing, scorching, fierce, ferocious, savage, severe, stinging, biting, virulent, caustic, vitriolic, scornful, sharp, bitter, acid, harsh, unsparing
rare mordacious



[as submodifier]: a devastatingly attractive man
More example sentences
  • Such sudden bursts of pent-up emotion are devastatingly attractive.
  • Having said that this is still to be classified as devastatingly raw music endowed with enough industrial grunt to knock your granny's socks off.
  • However miserable or impoverished, most men and women have one formidable power at their disposal: the power to die as devastatingly as possible.

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Word of the day prepotent
Pronunciation: prɪˈpəʊt(ə)nt
greater than others in power or influence