• WordNet 3.6
    • v devastate overwhelm or overpower "He was devastated by his grief when his son died"
    • v devastate cause extensive destruction or ruin utterly "The enemy lay waste to the countryside after the invasion"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The English Romantic poet Lord Byron was so devastated upon the death of his beloved Newfoundland, whose name was Boatswain, that he had inscribed upon the dog's gravestone the following: "Beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and all the virtues of man without his vices."
    • v. t Devastate To lay waste; to ravage; to desolate. "Whole countries . . . were devastated ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • devastate To lay waste; ravage; make desolate.
    • devastate Synonyms To harry, waste, strip, pillage, plunder.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Devastate dev′as-tāt to lay waste: to plunder
    • ***


  • Charles Swindoll
    Charles Swindoll
    “The swift wind of compromise is a lot more devastating than the sudden jolt of misfortune.”
  • William Allen White
    William Allen White
    “There is no insanity so devastating in man's life as utter sanity.”
  • Finley Peter Dunne
    “A man's idea in a game of cards is war, cruel, devastating, and pitiless. A lady's idea of it is a combination of larceny, embezzlement and burglary.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. devastatus, p. p. of devastare, to devastate; de, + vastare, to lay waste, vastus, waste. See Vast
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. devastāre, ātumde, inten., vastāre, to lay waste.


In literature:

Mr. Sands tilted his derby over a confident left eye, blew a devastating cloud, and said he did.
"The President" by Alfred Henry Lewis
The devastation became worse and worse from day to day.
"Three Years' War" by Christiaan Rudolf de Wet
Our help must be carried to the provinces devastated by the German and Austrian hordes.
"The New York Times Current History: the European War, February, 1915" by Various
The night pulsed only to the barks of the dogs and the roar of the devastating flames.
"Daughter of the Sun" by Jackson Gregory
For a time, the Scots carried all before them, wasting and devastating the country.
"Both Sides the Border" by G. A. Henty
At Chaotong I had entered upon a district that had been devastated by recurring seasons of plague and famine.
"An Australian in China" by George Ernest Morrison
Theological strife was the precursor of the all-devastating Thirty Years' War.
"History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology" by John F. Hurst
As Tom and the three scouts approached the summit, the devastation caused by the storm became more and more appalling.
"Tom Slade's Double Dare" by Percy Keese Fitzhugh
They proceed thence with determined hostility into the Roman territories, which were already devastated without the injuries of war.
"The History of Rome, Books 01 to 08" by Titus Livius
This place is devastated and lost to us for the future.
"Debit and Credit" by Gustav Freytag

In poetry:

My list'ners are a nomad nation,
To whom the desert's voice is dear;
Who dread the simoon's devastation
And fall before his wrath in fear.
"Had I At Mecca's Gate Been Nourished" by Hermann Ferdinand Freiligrath
For he disdains fair summer's gentle form,
And hates unruffl'd eve in vestments gay;
He loves to battle in the pelting storm,
And scatter devastation on his way.
"Wind" by Charlotte Dacre
Few moments of the tempest's wrath
Sufficed to mark one dreadful path
With scenes of devastation;
While over piles of wild debris
Rose shrieks of dying agony
Above the desolation.
"Mysterious" by Hattie Howard
Oh, hear that awful booming; the dam has given way!
An avalanche of water God's hand alone can stay!
Oh, leap, ye hills, before it and keep this torrent back,
Or devastated towns and homes will mark its onward track!
"The Johnstown Disaster, 1889" by Joseph Horatio Chant
Along the wild and wasted plain
His veteran bands the ROMAN monarch led,
And rolled his burning wheels o'er heaps of slain:
The prowling chacal heard afar
The devastating yell of war,
And rush'd, with gloomy howl, to banquet on the dead!
"Palmyra (1st Edition)" by Thomas Love Peacock
O think of the noble Stanley and his gallant little band,
While travelling through gloomy forests and devastated land,
And suffering from all kinds of hardships under a burning sun!
But the brave hero has been successful and the victory's won.
"A Tribute to Henry M. Stanley" by William Topaz McGonagall

In news:

Armstrong also took to Twitter back on Oct 10 to give his reaction to the devastating report about him and doping that was was released by the US Anti- Doping Agency (USADA) that day.
This potentially devastating disease is showing up again in 2012 in even more places.
New study suggests volcano's blast was more devastating than previously thought.
Ravens move on from the devastating injuries to.
NORMAN — Recent wildfires devastated many areas around Cleveland County and left countless residents homeless.
New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast faced the anniversary of devastating Hurricane Katrina by hunkering down for a new storm amid "a high level of anxiety," as the Crescent City's mayor put it Monday.
Tropical Storm Isaac is gaining strength and cutting a path through the Gulf of Mexico that's eerily similar to the catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans and the region nearly seven years ago to the day.
Firefighters return from the devastation left by Superstorm Sandy.
No one was more devastated by the result than War Emblem 's trainer, Bob Baffert, and his flummoxed jockey, Victor Espinoza.
Tramp is Van Etten's most immediate and devastating collection of songs.
The nation looks to expand its business overseas following devastating events that killed nearly 20,000 people last year.
On a day when a major storm ripped through New Orleans, damaging neighborhoods still struggling to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina's devastation, Guest Essayist Chris Rose reflects on the bumpy road to recovery.
Tulane University researchers have quietly withdrawn a paper that said small amounts of ordinary pesticides, harmless by themselves, might be causing a devastating rise in estrogen hormones when mixed together.
Scenes from Rockaway Beach, Queens, where residents are increasingly cold, scared and without heat, water and electricity days after Hurricane Sandy devastated the community.
Residents attended a public meeting last night to learn more about the devastation the Formosan termites can have on people's property and homes.

In science:

The mechanism of freak wave generation has become an issue of principal interest due to their potentially devastating effects on offshore structures and ships.
Freak Waves in Random Oceanic Sea States
It is a simple matter of reflection to point out some limits to this type of argument: the vagaries of weather, the devastation of earthquakes or the fall of meteorites seem to be fortuitous.
Incompleteness, Complexity, Randomness and Beyond
This is hard to analyze when the generator is designed, hard to detect in real time when the generator is used, and can have devastating cryptanalytic implications.
Guaranteeing the diversity of number generators
Unlike our previous results, the introduction of a timeevolving field has had a devastating effect on the mass fraction of primordial ob jects.
On the population of primordial star clusters in the presence of UV background radiation
The escaping photons have had a devastating impact on the surrounding halos, particularly the smaller, Generation 1 halos.
On the population of primordial star clusters in the presence of UV background radiation