What does desolate mean?

Definitions for desolate
ˈdɛs ə lɪt; -ˌleɪtdes·o·late

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word desolate.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. bare, barren, bleak, desolate, starkadjective

    providing no shelter or sustenance

    "bare rocky hills"; "barren lands"; "the bleak treeless regions of the high Andes"; "the desolate surface of the moon"; "a stark landscape"

  2. desolateverb

    crushed by grief

    "depressed and desolate of soul"; "a low desolate wail"

  3. abandon, forsake, desolate, desertverb

    leave someone who needs or counts on you; leave in the lurch

    "The mother deserted her children"

  4. depopulate, desolateverb

    reduce in population

    "The epidemic depopulated the countryside"

  5. lay waste to, waste, devastate, desolate, ravage, scourgeverb

    cause extensive destruction or ruin utterly

    "The enemy lay waste to the countryside after the invasion"


  1. desolateverb

    To deprive of inhabitants.

  2. desolateverb

    To devastate or lay waste somewhere.

  3. desolateverb

    To abandon or forsake something.

  4. desolateverb

    To make someone sad, forlorn and hopeless.

  5. desolateadjective

    Deserted and devoid of inhabitants.

  6. desolateadjective

    Barren and lifeless.

  7. desolateadjective

    Made unfit for habitation or use.

  8. desolateadjective

    Dismal or dreary.

  9. desolateadjective

    Sad, forlorn and hopeless.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Desolateadjective

    Etymology: desolatus, Latin.

    Let us seek some desolate shade, and there
    Weep our sad bosoms empty. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    This hero appears at first in a desolate island, sitting upon the side of the sea. William Broome, on Epic Poetry.

    This city shall be desolate, without an inhabitant. Jer. xxvi.

  2. To DESOLATEverb

    To deprive of inhabitants; to lay waste.

    Etymology: desolo, Latin.

    The island of Atlantis was not swallowed by an earthquake, but was desolated by a particular deluge; for earthquakes are seldom in those parts: but, on the other side, they have such pouring rivers, as the rivers of Asia, Africa, and Europe are but brooks to them. Francis Bacon, Essay 59.

    Thick around
    Thunders the sport of those, who with the gun
    And dog, impatient bounding at the shot,
    Worse than the season, desolate the fields. James Thomson, Winter.


  1. desolate

    Desolate refers to a place that is deserted, uninhabited, and often in a state of disrepair or abandonment. It can also describe a person who is feeling extremely sad, lonely or forlorn.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Desolateadjective

    destitute or deprived of inhabitants; deserted; uninhabited; hence, gloomy; as, a desolate isle; a desolate wilderness; a desolate house

  2. Desolateadjective

    laid waste; in a ruinous condition; neglected; destroyed; as, desolate altars

  3. Desolateadjective

    left alone; forsaken; lonely; comfortless

  4. Desolateadjective

    lost to shame; dissolute

  5. Desolateadjective

    destitute of; lacking in

  6. Desolateverb

    to make desolate; to leave alone; to deprive of inhabitants; as, the earth was nearly desolated by the flood

  7. Desolateverb

    to lay waste; to ruin; to ravage; as, a fire desolates a city

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Desolate

    des′o-lāt, v.t. to make solitary: to deprive of inhabitants: to lay waste.—adj. solitary: destitute of inhabitants: laid waste.—adv. Des′olately.—ns. Des′olateness; Desolat′er, -or; Desolā′tion, waste: destruction: a place desolated.—adj. Des′olatory. [L. desolāre, -ātumde, inten., and solāre, to make alone—solus, alone.]

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of desolate in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of desolate in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of desolate in a Sentence

  1. Ricardo Ross:

    Every time I walk past, their home is desolate, it just looks scary.

  2. Arthur O'Shaunessey:

    We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dream. Wandering by lone sea breakers, and sitting by desolate streams. World losers and world forsakers, for whom the pale moon gleams. Yet we are movers and the shakers of the world forever it seems.

  3. Buzz Aldrin:

    Aldrin in the Apollo 11 Lunar Module. For the 50th anniversary of the landing, Omega issued a limited edition Speedmaster watch, a tribute to the one that Buzz Aldrin wore to the moon. ( Neil Armstrong/NASA via AP) I prefaced desolate with magnificent, because of humanitys reaching outward and accomplishing something that people thought was impossible, Buzz Aldrin said. They dreamed of somehow reaching the moon. And to demonstrate, to be a part of demonstrating this miracle was magnificent. On July 16, 1969, Buzz Aldrin, along with mission commander Neil Armstrong and command module pilot Michael Collins, launched from Kennedy Space Center atop a Saturn V rocket. Four days later, Neil Armstrong made history when Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the Moon. Aldrinexited thelunar module 19 minutes after Neil Armstrong. The famed astronaut joked about being second during his interview. APOLLO 11 INSIDERS REMEMBER HISTORYS MOST FAMOUS SPACE MISSION : WE HAD A JOB TO DO AND WE DID IT I will forever, no matter what I do, be known as the second man on the moon, he quipped. In this July 20, 1969 photo made available by NASA, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot, walks on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity. ( Neil Armstrong/NASA via AP) Why does it bother you to be a second man to walk on the moon ? Youre one of a dozen men who had that incredible role, Cavuto asked in a follow-up question. Well, people love being vice president, dont they ? No, Buzz Aldrin responded with a chuckle. APOLLO 11S EPIC MISSION TO THE MOON IN PICTURES Does it bother me ? Yeah, it does a little bit, Buzz Aldrin continued. Why ? Because that isnt the way I would have described what this country did with two human beings landing on the moon and then deciding who was going to go out. We did things together as a team. The famous astronaut also recalls his famous steps across the surface of the moon and how he was well aware that the world was watching. Right near the end of our period out there Buzz Aldrin was doing something with the rock boxes -- I knew where the TV camera was, and I jumped up and down and pranced around to demonstrate the mobility that a person has, he said. So I was demonstrating for the people watching on TVintentionally showing them the varieties of kangaroo hop of turning. APOLLO 11 INSIDERS REMEMBER HISTORYS MOST FAMOUS SPACE MISSION : WE HAD A JOB TO DO AND WE DID IT During his sit-down with Cavuto, Buzz Aldrin also recollected the experience of looking back at Earth while on the surface of the Moon. [ You ] look up there, theres the earth. It looks small when its up there. If you look close, you may be able to see the ice over a pole, he said. If you look at your Omega watch, you may be able to tell what time it is in Houston. Buzz Aldrin also talked about the political significance of their mission to the moon, coming as it did duringthe space race with Russia atthe height of the Cold War. APOLLO 11 : THE BOOK THAT LANDED MAN ON THE MOON COULD SELL FOR $ 9 MILLION I do a lot of thinking today -- about somebody who had -- the guts to see that we were being outshone -- outshined in the Cold War by the Soviet Union, and to say, What can we do ?

  4. Buzz Aldrin:

    I guess I said that because it was magnificent, we had gotten there, and it looked pretty desolate. But it was magnificent desolation. I think Neil remarked the beauty, too.

  5. Candice Cooley:

    Dylan had a farm, Dylan had a goal, and he had a drive in life so that he would absolutely not let anything, anything, take him away, this is a kid that the last three years has been out in the desolate desert tearing out new ground.

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Translations for desolate

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • مهجورArabic
  • пуст, необитаван, безлюден, обезлюдявам, необитаем, безутешен, безнадежден, опустошавамBulgarian
  • trostlos, verlassen, ödeGerman
  • solitarioSpanish
  • hüljatud, kõleEstonian
  • خالی از سکنهPersian
  • hävittää, autioittaa, hylätä, masentaaFinnish
  • désoler, ravager, désoléFrench
  • सुनसान, निर्जन, बंजर, उजाड़, वीरानHindi
  • elhagyatott, kihalt, lakhatatlan, reménytelenHungarian
  • բարձիթողի, լքված, ամայի, անմխիթար, անբնակ, թշվառArmenian
  • terpencilIndonesian
  • nero, desolato, deserto, abbandonatoItalian
  • שומםHebrew
  • 寂しい, 寂れたJapanese
  • ನಿರ್ಜನKannada
  • tūheaMāori
  • pustkowiemPolish
  • deșert, abandonatRomanian
  • оскудевший, упадочный, скудный, безнадëжный, покинутый, пустынный, необитаемыйRussian
  • தனித்துவிடப்பட்டTamil
  • నిర్మానుష్యమైనTelugu
  • спустошенийUkrainian
  • וויסטYiddish
  • 荒凉Chinese

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"desolate." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 14 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/desolate>.

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