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.
References in periodicals archive ?
(37.) Byron's "Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte" (1814) contains the same rhetoric of mortification, as the poet addresses the "The Desolator desolate!
Marek "Ko?ciej" Makosiej, one of the founders of Desolator, the reborn death metal monster, says: “20 years after the first roar, Desolator is back from the grave with some unfinished business to settle.” "Ko?ciej" continues: "It's been like a thorn in the heart through all these years that so many good tracks that people got mad to during gigs with such killing squads like Vader or Christ Agony in the '90s could simply die forgotten.
Indianapolis, IN, August 28, 2014 --( Desolators is a twin stick shooter (on a dual analog stick controller the left stick maneuvers the aircraft and the right stick shoots in which ever direction it is pushed).