Etymology
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devastating (adj.)

1630s, "laying waste, ravaging," present-participle adjective from devastate. Trivial or hyperbolic use is by 1889.

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Definitions of devastating

devastating (adj.)
making light of; "to compliments inflated I've a withering reply"- W.S.Gilbert;
a devastating portrait of human folly
Synonyms: annihilating / withering
devastating (adj.)
wreaking or capable of wreaking complete destruction;
a devastating hurricane
Synonyms: annihilative / annihilating / withering
devastating (adj.)
physically or spiritually devastating; often used in combination;
Synonyms: crushing
From wordnet.princeton.edu