- tending or threatening to devastate: a devastating fire.
- satirical, ironic, or caustic in an effective way: a devastating portrayal of society.
verb (used with object), dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing.
- to lay waste; render desolate: The invaders devastated the city.
- to overwhelm.
- extremely effective in a destructive waya devastating war; a devastating report on urban deprivation
- to lay waste or make desolate; ravage; destroy
- to confound or overwhelm, as with grief or shock
1630s, present participle adjective from devastate. Trivial use by 1889.