Q:

What does it mean to "ravage" someone?

A:

Quick Answer

The word "ravage" means to pillage, destroy or devastate. An example of the word in use would be "the hurricane ravaged the coastline," or "the wind ravaged my hair." Using this word, which is often confused with "ravish," in a romantic sense could have bad connotations; the term "ravish," although it has two meanings, is often used to mean "very attractive," and is not recommended for use as a verb.

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Full Answer

"Ravish" means to force someone to have sex against their will, to rape someone, or to enrapture, enchant or win over. To "ravish someone" would mean either to rape them, or to charm, woo or entice them. Because the double meaning can be confused, grammarians suggest the word be used in its participial form, or as an adjective, such as "the film cast the ravishing Natalie Portman in the role."

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