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desolate (adj) (of a place) without human presence; (of persons) very lonely and unhappy.

A place is desolate if it is without human presence, that is, without anybody there, and if you happen to be there alone, it makes you feel lonely and frightened. When you stand alone in the middle of the desert, the desolate sands stretch around you for miles and miles together. That is, you are alone and are frightened to be there with the vast sands around you. A campus is desolate during vacation. When a person is lonely and unhappy, they are desolate. When a person's near and dear ones are gone, and there is none to keep them company, the person feels desolate. That is, they feel lonely, helpless, and unhappy.

  • Being the last to leave the hostel for the vacation, John found the silence of the desolate hostel unbearable and wished he had the company of at least one other boy.
  • With her only son abroad, and her husband dead, Mary felt desolate as she had to be alone at home for another week, and felt sad about it.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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