Etymology
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ravage (v.)

"devastate, lay waste, despoil," 1610s, from French ravager "lay waste, devastate," from Old French ravage "destruction," especially by flood (14c.), from ravir "to take away hastily" (see ravish). Related: Ravaged; ravaging.

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ravage (n.)

"desolation or destruction wrought by the violent action of men or beasts," or by time, grief, etc., 1610s, from French ravage "destruction" (14c.), from ravir "to take away hastily" (see ravish). Related: Ravages (by 1771).

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harrow (v.2)
"to ravage, despoil," especially in harrowing of Hell in Christian theology, early 14c., from Old English hergian "to ravage, plunder; seize, capture" (see harry (v.)). Related: Harrowed; harrowing.
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depopulate (v.)

"deprive of inhabitants," 1540s; see de- + populate. Perhaps from Latin depopulatus, past participle of depopulari "to lay waste, ravage." Related: Depopulated; depopulating. Earlier in same sense was dispeplen (early 15c.).

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depredate (v.)

1620s, "consume by waste;" 1650s, "consume by pillage or plunder," from Latin depredatus, past participle of depraedare "to pillage, ravage," from de- "thoroughly" (see de-) + praedari "to plunder," literally "to make prey of," from praeda "prey" (see prey (n.)).

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devastate (v.)

1630s, "lay waste, ravage, make desolate," perhaps a back-formation from devastation. Apparently not common until 19c.; earlier verb form devast is attested from 1530s, from French devaster, from Latin devastare. Figurative use is by 1856. Related: devastated; devastating.

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despoil (v.)

c. 1200, despoilen, "rob, plunder, ravage;" c. 1300, "strip off" (clothes, armor, etc.); from Old French despoillier "to strip, rob, deprive of, steal; borrow" (12c., Modern French dépouiller), from Latin despoliare "to rob, despoil, plunder," from de- "entirely" (see de-) + spoliare "to strip of clothing, rob," from spolium "skin, hide; arms, armor; booty" (see spoil (v.)). Related: Despoiled; despoiling.

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waste (v.)
c. 1200, "devastate, ravage, ruin," from Anglo-French and Old North French waster "to waste, squander, spoil, ruin" (Old French gaster; Modern French gâter), altered (by influence of Frankish *wostjan) from Latin vastare "lay waste," from vastus "empty, desolate," from PIE *wasto-, extended suffixed form of root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out." Related: wasted; wasting.

The Germanic word also existed in Old English as westan "to lay waste, ravage." Spanish gastar, Italian guastare also are from Germanic. Meaning "to lose strength or health; pine; weaken" is attested from c. 1300; the sense of "squander, spend or consume uselessly" is first recorded mid-14c.; meaning "to kill" is from 1964. Waste not, want not attested from 1778.
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devastation (n.)

"ravage, act of devastating; state of being devastated," mid-15c., from Medieval Latin devastationem (nominative devastatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin devastare "lay waste completely," from de- "completely" (see de-) + vastare "lay waste," from vastus "empty, desolate," from PIE *wasto-, extended suffixed form of root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out."

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overrun (v.)

also over-run, Middle English overrennen, from Old English oferyrnan "to run across, pass over;" see over- + run (v.). Meaning "continue beyond a specified time" is from early 14c. Meaning "to ravage (a land), maraud, plunder" is by mid-14c. Of weeds, etc., "to grow over, cover all over," by 1660s. The noun meaning "excess expenditure over budget" is from 1956. Related: Overran; overrunning.

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