Definition of lay waste to (or lay something (to) waste) in English:

lay waste to (or lay something (to) waste)


  • Completely destroy.

    ‘a land laid waste by war’
    • ‘In fact, he even proposed that Athenians lay waste to their own lands to deny the Spartan army resources and the opportunity to do so itself; but he knew this was an unrealistic request of the people.’
    • ‘Their cities would be laid waste, their lands desolate.’
    • ‘Not for Napoleon the debate over animal waste in the food chain - he was too busy laying waste large tracts of Europe.’
    • ‘‘I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted,’ he said.’
    • ‘This was then the period of the laying waste of the agricultural lands in the North.’
    • ‘The destructive winds that lay waste the coast of Florida and various Caribbean islands pass through between September and November, a time when people batten down the hatches and hope for the best.’
    • ‘The city of Jerusalem, laid waste and destroyed by the Babylonians as an act of divine judgment, is described as having lost all its beauty.’
    • ‘And the other thing about Hitler, of course, was his complacent conviction of the superiority of the German people - and of his right to wage unprovoked war and lay waste to other nations in their name.’
    • ‘Factories sprang up like fungi while the countryside was laid waste.’
    • ‘The Northumbrians rebelled and in devastating reprisals their lands were laid to waste for several generations.’
    devastate, wipe out, destroy, demolish, annihilate, raze, ruin, leave in ruins, wreck, level, flatten, gut, consume, ravage, pillage, sack, wreak havoc on
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