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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce desolation (audio)

Dictionary definition of desolation

A state or feeling of extreme emptiness, loneliness, and despair.
"The war-torn region was marked by desolation, with ruins and debris scattered across the landscape."

Detailed meaning of desolation

It encompasses a profound sense of desolation and devastation, often associated with the aftermath of destruction, loss, or abandonment. It is a desolate landscape devoid of life, where silence echoes and the absence of human presence amplifies the sense of desolation. Desolation can manifest in various forms, from the barrenness of a deserted cityscape to the desolation felt in the depths of one's soul during times of grief or profound isolation. It encapsulates the bleakness and despondency that can engulf individuals, communities, or even entire nations, leaving behind a void that seems impossible to fill. In the midst of desolation, hope becomes a flickering flame struggling to survive, desperately seeking a way to dispel the darkness and restore a sense of purpose and meaning.

Example sentences containing desolation

1. The barren landscape evoked a sense of desolation in the traveler's heart.
2. Amidst the ruins, he felt the overwhelming weight of desolation.
3. The abandoned house exuded an aura of desolation and decay.
4. Her eyes mirrored the desolation she carried within her soul.
5. The desolation of the winter night was punctuated only by the howling wind.
6. In the aftermath of the war, the city was a picture of desolation.

History and etymology of desolation

The noun 'desolation' draws its etymological origins from Latin and Old French. It can be traced back to the Latin word 'desolatio,' which is derived from 'desolare,' consisting of 'de,' meaning 'completely,' and 'solus,' meaning 'alone' or 'lonely.' In its literal sense, 'desolatio' referred to the act of making something completely lonely or deserted. As the term transitioned into Old French as 'desolacion,' it retained this sense of emptiness and loneliness. Over time, in the English language, 'desolation' emerged as a noun to describe a state or feeling of extreme emptiness, loneliness, and despair, capturing the essence of desolation as a profound and desolate emotional state.

Quiz: Find the meaning of desolation

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Further usage examples of desolation

1. The old cemetery held an eerie sense of desolation at twilight.
2. Lost in the wilderness, he grappled with a deep sense of desolation.
3. The astronaut experienced profound desolation while gazing at Earth from space.
4. The dilapidated factory symbolized the desolation of the industrial era.
5. Their parting left an overwhelming feeling of desolation in their hearts.
6. The abandoned amusement park was a haunting scene of desolation.
7. The desolation in her eyes revealed the pain she tried to hide.
8. The once-vibrant town had descended into economic desolation.
9. The ghost town whispered tales of desolation to those who dared to visit.
10. The desert stretched endlessly, a vast expanse of desolation.
11. The musician's melancholic melody captured the essence of desolation.
12. After the shipwreck, they faced days of desolation on the deserted island.
13. The empty streets echoed with the footsteps of desolation.
14. As the sun set, the desolation of the wilderness became more pronounced.
15. The abandoned house stood as a symbol of desolation, its broken windows and crumbling walls echoing a tragic past.
16. The desolation in her eyes revealed the depth of her sorrow.
17. The sound of wind whistling through the desolate streets added to the sense of desolation in the ghost town.
18. After the earthquake, the survivors wandered through a landscape of desolation, searching for any signs of life.
19. The loss of her loved ones left her in a state of desolation, unable to find solace in anything.
20. The barren wasteland stretched before them, a scene of desolation that seemed devoid of any hope.
21. The once vibrant city now lay in ruins, a picture of desolation and despair.
22. The desolation in his voice was palpable as he recounted the tragic events that unfolded.
23. The abandoned factory was a haunting reminder of the desolation that had overtaken the industrial area.
24. The silence in the war-ravaged village was heavy with desolation, as if the very essence of life had been sucked out.
25. As he walked through the desolate forest, he couldn't shake off the feeling of desolation creeping into his soul.



emptiness, habitation, populousness, cheerfulness


SAT 19 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Deterioration and Decline, Sadness and Misery

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