Etymology
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desolate (v.)

late 14c., "render (a region or place) lonely by depopulation or devastation; lay waste, ruin," from desolate (adj.) or Latin desolatus. Meaning "overwhelm with grief, make sorry or weary by affliction" is from 1520s. Related: Desolated; desolating.

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howling (adj.)
c. 1600, "that howls," present-participle adjective from howl (v.)). The word was used in the King James Bible (1611) in reference to waste and wilderness (Deuteronomy xxxii.10), "characterized by or filled with howls (of wild beasts or the wind," which has tended to give it a merely intensive force.
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debris (n.)

"accumulation of loose matter or rubbish from some destructive operation or process," 1708, from French débris "remains, waste, rubbish" (16c.), from obsolete debriser "break down, crush," from Old French de- (see de-) + briser "to break," from Late Latin brisare, which is possibly of Gaulish origin (compare Old Irish brissim "I break").

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excrement (n.)
1530s, "waste discharged from the body," from Latin excrementum, from stem of excretus, past participle of excernere "to sift out, discharge," from ex "out" (see ex-) + cernere "sift, separate" (from PIE root *krei- "to sieve," thus "discriminate, distinguish"). Originally any bodily secretion, especially from the bowels; exclusive sense of "feces" is since mid-18c. Related: Excremental; excrementitious.
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pot-hunter (n.)

 "one who shoots whatever he finds; one who hunts or fishes for food or profit not for sport, one who kills regardless of the season, waste of game, or pleasure involved," 1781, from pot (n.1) + hunter. Related: Pot-hunting (1808).

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effluent (adj.)
mid-15c., from Latin effluentem (nominative effluens) "flowing out," present participle of effluere "to flow out," from assimilated form of ex "out" (see ex-) + fluere "to flow" (see fluent). As a noun, "that which flows out," from 1859; specific meaning "liquid industrial waste" is from 1930.
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harry (v.)

Old English hergian "make war, lay waste, ravage, plunder," the word used in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for what the Vikings did to England, from Proto-Germanic *harjon (source also of Old Frisian urheria "lay waste, ravage, plunder," Old Norse herja "to make a raid, to plunder," Old Saxon and Old High German herion, German verheeren "to destroy, lay waste, devastate"). This is literally "to overrun with an army," from Proto-Germanic *harjan "an armed force" (source also of Old English here, Old Norse herr "crowd, great number; army, troop," Old Saxon and Old Frisian heri, Dutch heir, Old High German har, German Heer, Gothic harjis "a host, army").

The Germanic words come from PIE root *korio- "war" also "war-band, host, army" (source also of Lithuanian karas "war, quarrel," karias "host, army;" Old Church Slavonic kara "strife;" Middle Irish cuire "troop;" Old Persian kara "host, people, army;" Greek koiranos "ruler, leader, commander"). Weakened sense of "worry, goad, harass" is from c. 1400. Related: Harried; harrying.

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drain (n.)

early 14c., dreine, "passage, pipe, or open channel for the removal of water or other liquid," from drain (v.). From 1721 as "act of draining, gradual or continuous outflow," usually figurative, of money, resources, etc. Colloquial expression down the drain "lost, vanished, gone to waste" is by 1930.

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heal-all (n.)

1570s, "universal remedy," from heal + all; applied since 1814 to various plants supposed to possess healing virtues. The native word for panacea. For the formation, compare save-all "means of preventing loss or waste" (by 1640s), at first general, used over time of various contrivances.

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spill (v.)

Old English spillan "destroy, mutilate, kill," also in late Old English "to waste," variant of spildan "destroy," from Proto-Germanic *spilthjan (source also of Old High German spildan "to spill," Old Saxon spildian "destroy, kill," Old Norse spilla "to destroy," Danish spilde "lose, spill, waste," Middle Dutch spillen "to waste, spend"), from a probable PIE root *spel- (1) "to split, break off" (source also of Middle Dutch spalden, Old High German spaltan "to split;" Greek aspalon "skin, hide," spolas "flayed skin;" Latin spolium "skin, hide;" Lithuanian spaliai "shives of flax;" Old Church Slavonic rasplatiti "to cleave, split;" Middle Low German spalden, Old High German spaltan "to split;" Sanskrit sphatayati "splits").

Sense of "let (liquid) fall or run out" developed mid-14c. from use of the word in reference to shedding blood (early 14c.). Intransitive sense "to run out and become wasted" is from 1650s. Spill the beans recorded by 1910 in a sense of "spoil the situation;" 1919 as "reveal a secret." To cry for spilt milk (usually with negative) is attested from 1738. Related: Spilled; spilt; spilling.

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