Definition of ravage in English:



  • Cause severe and extensive damage to.

    ‘fears that a war could ravage their country’
    • ‘Nothing actually stopped this Viking invasion until 892, when pestilence so ravaged the army that they finally dispersed.’
    • ‘In 1390 a great plague ravaged the country.’
    • ‘Once regarded as the economic miracle of West Africa, his country is ravaged by civil war.’
    • ‘But in an economy ravaged by two decades of war, jobs are scarce.’
    • ‘The Guru's tender body was ravaged by the disease.’
    • ‘The trees will be planted in small natural openings and areas ravaged by fires or logging.’
    • ‘His squad were ravaged by injury, although he didn't seek to use this as an excuse.’
    • ‘Two kings lost their thrones and the country was periodically ravaged by civil war.’
    • ‘Britain tried to implement various formulas to bring independence to a land ravaged by violence.’
    • ‘During these years, both sides ravaged the countryside in an attempt to starve the enemy.’
    • ‘Hurricane Ivan is also widely expected to hit the already ravaged State of Florida.’
    • ‘After the British evacuated, patriots returned to ruined properties and a city ravaged by fires.’
    • ‘Bush was expected to arrive in Florida today to tour areas ravaged by hurricane Ivan.’
    • ‘Thus Demons found their way into the world, and great magic ravaged the lands.’
    • ‘Darkness unleashed, it ravaged the land, destroying everything in its path.’
    • ‘Rabies so ravaged the population that there were very few raccoons left.’
    • ‘She has just begun chemotherapy and her immune system is so ravaged that the most innocuous virus could kill her.’
    • ‘In those days, Europe was periodically ravaged by plagues.’
    • ‘But not even Ricky Williams could prosper behind this line, ravaged by injuries and inconsistent play.’
    • ‘Henan is one of the provinces most ravaged by HIV / AIDS in China.’
    lay waste, devastate, ruin, leave in ruins, destroy, wreak havoc on, leave desolate, level, raze, demolish, wipe out, wreck, damage
    devastated, ruined, wrecked, desolate
    View synonyms


  • 1The severely damaging or destructive effects of something.

    ‘his face had withstood the ravages of time’
    • ‘Back in 1992, my brother was hospitalized, his body wracked by the ravages of AIDS.’
    • ‘The granite base is intact, and has withstood the constant ravages of time.’
    • ‘The only way to escape the ravages of the plague is to find a place the zombies can't reach.’
    • ‘I prayed that they might be spared the ravages of Ebola epidemics.’
    • ‘Every living creature, including plants, must contend with the ravages of diseases and parasites.’
    • ‘Younger women are also not immune to the ravages of this disease.’
    • ‘No business is spared the ravages of these elements.’
    • ‘It's even less fair to airbrush a 60-year-old celebrity and present her as someone who's managed to avoid the ravages of time.’
    • ‘Even the English king Edward I failed to escape the ravages of foot-and-mouth.’
    • ‘No more than a shell, it sits almost apologetically, ruined by the ravages of time.’
    • ‘And one more thing, how come that Scotland and Wales escape the worst ravages of Global warming?’
    • ‘He had endured the ravages of cancer bravely and patiently till the end.’
    • ‘Who, amongst us, is invulnerable to the ravages of disease?’
    • ‘Did it all just fall apart, ruined by the ravages of time and neglect?’
    • ‘Unfortunately for him, icons are not supposed to succumb to the ravages of age.’
    • ‘How about a storage system that can withstand the ravages of constant change?’
    • ‘Hinduism has survived the ravages of thousands of years in spite of its own inherent weaknesses.’
    • ‘Almost miraculously, these structures were spared the ravages of the 1906 earthquake.’
    • ‘When Pensacola suffered the ravages of a fire, the French again sent relief.’
    • ‘Has the Ark, or some of it, survived the ravages of time in some form?’
    damaging effects, ill effects, scars
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Acts of destruction.
      ‘the ravages committed by man’
      • ‘Few expected the ravages of war, and none expected the deprivation of imprisonment.’
      • ‘Nature repairs her ravages - repairs them with her sunshine and with human labour.’
      • ‘Eventually, though, nature's sudden ravages are repaired, a little bit at a time.’
      • ‘Countless multitudes suffer the ravages of war in Somalia.’
      • ‘One simple problem is that there is nothing funny about the ravages of war.’
      • ‘While Sitka spruce can withstand the ravages inflicted by deer, other species are not so hardy.’
      acts of destruction, destruction, damage, devastation, ruin, havoc, depredation, depredations, wreckage
      View synonyms


Early 17th century: from French ravager, from earlier ravage, alteration of ravine ‘rush of water’.