American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To lay waste; destroy.
- v. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To lay waste; ravage; make desolate.
- Synonyms To harry, waste, strip, pillage, plunder.
- v. To ruin many or all things over a large area, such as most or all buildings of a city, or cities of a region, or trees of a forest.
- v. To destroy a whole collection of related ideas, beliefs, and strongly held opinions.
- v. To break beyond recovery or repair so that the only options are abandonment or the clearing away of useless remains (if any) and starting over.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To lay waste; to ravage; to desolate.
- v. overwhelm or overpower
- v. cause extensive destruction or ruin utterly
- From Latin dēvastātus, perfect passive participle of dēvastō, from dē- (augmentative prefix) + vastō ("I destroy, I lay waste to"). (Wiktionary)
- Latin dēvāstāre, dēvāstāt- : dē-, de- + vāstāre, to lay waste (from vāstus, empty, desolate. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Bubonic plague, a disease which at intervals has swept over the whole world, familiar to all who recall their history as the terrible Black Death of Europe and the plague described by Pepys and Defoe, will never again devastate the more civilized portions of the earth.”
“Maroni says he asked the European Union for emergency to intervene because "there is an institutional and political earthquake" underway in Tunisia that could "devastate" Europe.”
“Failure by rich donor countries to provide fresh resources for a fund to help poor countries would "devastate" the fight against global poverty, the president of the World Bank has warned.”
“World Bank president Robert Zoellick warns failure to top up a fund for poor countries would 'devastate' fight against poverty”
“The BNA reported that, "U.S. labor unions balked at backing ITUC's position, given fears that deep cuts would 'devastate' heavy manufacturing in the United States as well as the coal and steel industries.”
“A proposal to build Britain's only commercial gold mine in Loch Lomond national park has been refused after councillors decided it would "devastate" the park's outstanding scenery.”
“Really, if the fallout from the last state dinner really did "devastate" the Salahis, as they claimed, wouldn't they mark last night, of all nights, on the calendar to stay home and rent a movie?”
“The new rules are "an impending disaster" which will "devastate" medical training because no surgeon will be able to work a shift long enough to gain proper experience.”
“Prophets, in order to emphasize their threats of divine punishment, spoke as if the word were related to shadad, to "devastate"; but the people at large, unmindful of these etymological niceties, used”
“They released a letter on Wednesday citing "grave concerns" with the legislation and said it would "devastate" community banks and credit unions.”
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