Also found in: Thesaurus.


 (dĕs′ə-lĭt, dĕz′-)
a. Devoid of inhabitants; deserted: "streets which were usually so thronged now grown desolate" (Daniel Defoe).
b. Barren; lifeless: the rocky, desolate surface of the moon.
2. Feeling, showing, causing, or expressing sadness or loneliness. See Synonyms at sad.
tr.v. (-lāt′) des·o·lat·ed, des·o·lat·ing, des·o·lates
1. To rid or deprive of inhabitants.
2. To lay waste; devastate: "Here we have no wars to desolate our fields" (Michel Guillaume Jean de Crèvecoeur).
3. To forsake; abandon.
4. To make lonely, forlorn, or wretched.

[Middle English desolat, from Latin dēsōlātus, past participle of dēsōlāre, to abandon : dē-, de- + sōlus, alone; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots.]

des′o·late·ly adv.
des′o·late·ness n.
des′o·lat′er, des′o·la′tor n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


wretched or forlorndeserted and laid waste
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


[ˈdɛsəleɪtɪd] adj (saddened) → desolato/a; (deserted, house) → abbandonato/a
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in classic literature ?
The place might have been desolated by a pestilence, so empty and so lifeless did it now appear.
And through the charred and desolated area--perhaps twenty square miles altogether--that encircled the Martian encamp- ment on Horsell Common, through charred and ruined villages among the green trees, through the blackened and smoking arcades that had been but a day ago pine spinneys, crawled the devoted scouts with the heliographs that were presently to warn the gunners of the Martian approach.
ByTLyS (CyHAN)- Desolated City, which is known as 'Harabe E[currency]ehir' in Turkish hosts tourists in summer while hosting potatoes in winter.