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barren, populated, bustling, lively


Hurdles and Setbacks, Middle School 2, Atmosphere and Mood



How to pronounce desolate (audio)


Dictionary definition of desolate

Barren, empty, and devoid of life or activity, often in a way that conveys a sense of bleakness and abandonment.
"The once-bustling town now lay desolate and empty after the war."

Detailed meaning of desolate

When something is characterized as desolate, it implies a stark and forlorn landscape or environment where little or no signs of human presence or vitality exist. This term can apply to various contexts, such as a desolate, uninhabited island, a desolate, abandoned town with dilapidated buildings, or a desolate stretch of desert where the land appears barren and lifeless. "Desolate" underscores the idea of something being eerily empty and isolated, often evoking feelings of solitude, emptiness, and abandonment in those who encounter it.

Example sentences containing desolate

1. The abandoned village had a desolate and haunting atmosphere.
2. The vast desert landscape appeared desolate, with no signs of life in sight.
3. After the storm, the beach looked desolate, covered in debris and seaweed.
4. The old mansion stood in a desolate state, its windows shattered and walls crumbling.
5. The remote island felt desolate, with only a few scattered huts.
6. The war-ravaged city had a desolate appearance, with buildings reduced to rubble.

History and etymology of desolate

The adjective 'desolate' has its etymological roots in Latin and Old French. It is derived from the Latin word 'desolatus,' which combines 'de,' meaning 'completely,' and 'solatus,' meaning 'comforted' or 'soothed.' In Old French, it evolved into 'desolat,' carrying a sense of abandonment and loneliness. In English, 'desolate' describes a place that is barren, empty, and devoid of life or activity, often in a way that conveys a sense of bleakness and abandonment. It suggests a landscape or environment that has been left in a state of neglect or isolation, where signs of life and vitality are conspicuously absent. 'Desolate' can also be used metaphorically to describe emotional or psychological states of loneliness and despair, emphasizing a feeling of emptiness and desolation.

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Further usage examples of desolate

1. The graveyard at night seemed desolate, illuminated only by the pale moonlight.
2. The astronaut described the moon's surface as desolate and barren.
3. The aftermath of the fire left the forest desolate, with charred trees and blackened earth.
4. The refugee camp had a desolate feel, with makeshift shelters and minimal resources.
5. The artist captured the desolate beauty of the winter landscape in his painting.
6. The remote cabin was located in a desolate area, far from any civilization.
7. The ghost town was a desolate reminder of its once-thriving past.
8. The empty playground looked desolate under the gray skies.
9. The traveler found himself in a desolate wilderness, surrounded by towering mountains.
10. The factory's closure left the workers feeling desolate and uncertain about their future.
11. The writer's words conveyed a sense of desolate longing in his poems.
12. The shipwrecked sailors were stranded on a desolate island with no means of communication.
13. The ruins of the castle were a desolate sight, standing as a relic of history.
14. The end of the world scenario in the movie portrayed a desolate Earth devoid of human activity.

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