devastate


verb (used with object), dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing.

  1. to lay waste; render desolate: The invaders devastated the city.
  2. to overwhelm.

verb (tr)

  1. to lay waste or make desolate; ravage; destroy
  2. to confound or overwhelm, as with grief or shock
v.

1630s, perhaps a back-formation from devastation. Apparently not common until 19c.; earlier verb form devast is attested from 1530s, from Middle French devaster. Related: devastated; devastating.

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