Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Devoid of inhabitants; deserted: "streets which were usually so thronged now grown desolate” ( Daniel Defoe).
  • adj. Barren; lifeless: the rocky, desolate surface of the moon.
  • adj. Rendered unfit for habitation or use: the desolate cities of war-torn Europe.
  • adj. Dreary; dismal.
  • adj. Bereft of friends or hope; sad and forlorn. See Synonyms at sad.
  • transitive v. To rid or deprive of inhabitants.
  • transitive v. To lay waste; devastate: "Here we have no wars to desolate our fields” ( Michel Guillaume Jean de Crèvecoeur).
  • transitive v. To forsake; abandon.
  • transitive v. To make lonely, forlorn, or wretched.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Deserted and devoid of inhabitants.
  • adj. Barren and lifeless.
  • adj. Made unfit for habitation or use.
  • adj. Dismal or dreary.
  • adj. Sad, forlorn and hopeless.
  • v. To deprive of inhabitants.
  • v. To devastate or lay waste somewhere.
  • v. To abandon or forsake something.
  • v. To make someone sad, forlorn and hopeless.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Destitute or deprived of inhabitants; deserted; uninhabited; hence, gloomy
  • adj. Laid waste; in a ruinous condition; neglected; destroyed.
  • adj. Left alone; forsaken; lonely; comfortless.
  • adj. Lost to shame; dissolute.
  • adj. Destitute of; lacking in.
  • transitive v. To make desolate; to leave alone; to deprive of inhabitants.
  • transitive v. To lay waste; to ruin; to ravage.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To render lonely, as a place or region, by depopulation or devastation; make desert; lay waste; ruin; ravage.
  • To overwhelm with grief; afflict; make very sorry or weary: as, his heart was desolated by his loss; your misfortune desolates me; to be desolated by ennui.
  • Solitary; lonely; without companionship; forsaken.
  • Overwhelmed with grief; deprived of comfort; afflicted.
  • Destitute; lacking.
  • Destitute of inhabitants; uninhabited; lonely; abandoned: as, a desolate wilderness; desolate altars; desolate towers.
  • Lost to shame; abandoned; dissolute.
  • Synonyms Companionless.
  • Forlorn, cheerless, miserable, wretched.
  • Abandoned, unfrequented, lonely, waste, wild, barren, dreary.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. leave someone who needs or counts on you; leave in the lurch
  • v. reduce in population
  • adj. providing no shelter or sustenance
  • adj. crushed by grief
  • v. cause extensive destruction or ruin utterly

Etymologies

Middle English desolat, from Latin dēsōlātus, past participle of dēsōlāre, to abandon : dē-, de- + sōlus, alone; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Latin desolatus, past participle of desolare ("to leave alone, make lonely, lay waste, desolate"), from solus ("alone"). (Wiktionary)

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