from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. devastation, laying waste

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A laying waste; waste; depopulation; devastation.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A laying waste; waste; devastation.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • In London he read two books by Swedenborg, even though he had foresworn reading, and in one of these books he found that what had occurred to him that afternoon was called a vastation, and nothing he ever heard again convinced him that it was not so.

    The Master

  • While researching my "Herne the Hunter" Suppressed Transmission, I ran across Henry James, Sr., and his "vastation" at Windsor:Suddenly in a lightning-flash as it were "fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake."

    Kenneth Hite's Journal

  • This "vastation," I maintain contra Swedenborg, is the Sublime spoor of Azathoth.

    Kenneth Hite's Journal

  • In his early 30s, sitting by the fire after dinner, he suffered from a "vastation" that came upon him suddenly, without preparation; it presented itself to him visually, viscerally, as "some damned shape squatting invisible to me within the precincts of the room."

    Serendip's Exchange

  • This, Paul Fisher points out, could easily have been caused by drink, but its shivering victim later came to the view that he had undergone what Swedenborg called "a vastation."

    The Admirable Mrs. James

  • Once back in New York and then in Albany, where he moved for two years, the victim of the vastation began to correspond with other Swedenborgians, calling his next son, born in 1845, Garth Wilkinson after one of the most enthusiastic of them.

    The Admirable Mrs. James

  • Conservatives have long taken it as self-evident that the press unfavorably distorts the war, which may be the case; but today that country is a vastation, and the unified field theory of media bias has not been altered one jot.


  • If we go on reading about the puerile wife-swapping, the pubescent sex games, the Marvel Comics Fantastic Four superheroes, and the gratuitous martyrdom, we will gradually come to see our own suburbia as a desert vastation and our own children as Bedouins subsisting on the shifting sand, as refugees from civil war and famine.

    In the Desert, Prime Time

  • This vastation, it seemed, was a step on the road to the full understanding that God made us in his likeness, and that our urges and appetites, our thoughts and feelings are profoundly sanctified.

    The Master

  • The scholars are busy with punctuation, chronology, and the lives of the little great, so that their visit is a vastation, and I must turn them out of doors.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 76, February, 1864


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  • (noun) - Purification by destruction of evil impulses. --William Craigie's Dictionary of American English, 1940

    April 23, 2018

  • From "C. Musonius Rufus" by Guy Davenport

    January 19, 2010