Etymology
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desolate (adj.)

mid-14c., of persons, "disconsolate, miserable, overwhelmed with grief, deprived of comfort;" late 14c., of persons, "without companions, solitary, lonely;" also, of places, "uninhabited, abandoned," from Latin desolatus, past participle of desolare "leave alone, desert," from de- "completely" (see de-) + solare "make lonely," from solus "alone" (see sole (adj.)). Related: Desolately; desolateness.

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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Definitions of desolate
1
desolate (v.)
leave someone who needs or counts on you; leave in the lurch;
Synonyms: abandon / forsake / desert
desolate (v.)
reduce in population;
Synonyms: depopulate
desolate (v.)
cause extensive destruction or ruin utterly;
Synonyms: lay waste to / waste / devastate / ravage / scourge
2
desolate (adj.)
providing no shelter or sustenance;
the desolate surface of the moon
Synonyms: bare / barren / bleak / stark
desolate (adj.)
crushed by grief;
depressed and desolate of soul
a low desolate wail
From wordnet.princeton.edu