One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘the inhabitants of the country had been decimated, their land ravaged’
lay waste, devastate, ruin, leave in ruins, destroy, wreak havoc on, leave desolate, level, raze, demolish, wipe out, wreck, damage
pillage, plunder, harry, maraud, ransack, sack, loot
literary despoil, rape
archaic spoil, havoc
rare depredate, spoliate
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