Share this entry

ravage Line breaks: rav¦age
Pronunciation: /ˈravɪdʒ/

Definition of ravage in English:


[with object]
Cause severe and extensive damage to: the hurricane ravaged southern Florida
More example sentences
  • Two kings lost their thrones and the country was periodically ravaged by civil war.
  • Once regarded as the economic miracle of West Africa, his country is ravaged by civil war.
  • In those days, Europe was periodically ravaged by plagues.
lay waste, devastate, ruin, leave in ruins, destroy, wreak havoc on, leave desolate, level, raze, demolish, wipe out, wreck, damage;
literary despoil, rape
archaic spoil, havoc
devastated, ruined, wrecked, desolate;


(ravages) Back to top  
1The destructive effects of something: his face had withstood the ravages of time
More example sentences
  • No more than a shell, it sits almost apologetically, ruined by the ravages of time.
  • Did it all just fall apart, ruined by the ravages of time and neglect?
  • It's even less fair to airbrush a 60-year-old celebrity and present her as someone who's managed to avoid the ravages of time.
damaging effects, ill effects, scars
1.1Acts of destruction: the ravages committed by man
More example sentences
  • Countless multitudes suffer the ravages of war in Somalia.
  • While Sitka spruce can withstand the ravages inflicted by deer, other species are not so hardy.
  • Few expected the ravages of war, and none expected the deprivation of imprisonment.
acts of destruction, destruction, damage, devastation, ruin, havoc, depredation(s), wreckage
literary rape


Early 17th century: from French ravager, from earlier ravage, alteration of ravine 'rush of water'.



Example sentences
  • On my way to see the Viking ships in Oslo, the guide emphasised that the Vikings were not the ravagers and looters of myth but influential adventurers who created elegant artefacts.
  • Let not this age be remembered by those who will come after us as an age where killers of the innocent and ravagers of the weak reigned terror upon the world.
  • I should just come home and help clean up the damage done by the ravagers.

Words that rhyme with ravage


Definition of ravage in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day exemplum
Pronunciation: ɪɡˈzɛmpləm
an example or model...