Ravage vs Ravish: Correct usage with Definitions and Examples

Users of English confuse many words many times; Ravage and Ravish are no exceptions. These two are liable to be confused. They sound rather similar although they have different meanings. This post, Ravage vs Ravish: Correct usage with Definitions and Examples, focuses on explaining these words with their definition and their correct usage.

Ravage vs Ravish: Correct usage with Definitions and Examples

We shall begin by looking at the meanings of these words. Ravage and Ravish belong to the same category of the Parts of Speech; that is, they are both verbs but Ravage can also function as a noun while Ravish is purely a verb.

Ravage Definition

Ravage has two shades of definition; let us see them…

First, it means ‘to cause great damage to, to devastate, to lay waste, to cause extensive destruction or ruin utterly’, as we have in the following examples:

  • All the low-lying areas were ravaged by floods.
  • The population ravaged by the disease is on the increase.
  • Many war-ravaged countries are in dire need of foreign aids.
  • A tornado ravaged the coastal villages.
  • An earthquake ravaged the metropolitan cities.
  • Many years of drought had ravaged the country.

Ravage also means ‘to plunder, to rob’, as in:

  • Some neighbouring tribes are ravaging their territory.
  • The militias have ravaged the village of all its valuables.

As a noun, usually in the plural, ravage refers to a destructive action, a depredation, demolition, wipe out and destruction. For instance:

  • The city has witnessed the ravages of time.

War-Ravaged Meaning

You must have heard about the expression, war-ravaged. This is an adjective that means ‘disrupted by war’; especially between different ethnic groups from one country. War-ravaged also means ‘war-torn’.

Ravish Definition

Ravish means either ‘to delight greatly or ‘to enchant’, and it is usually in the passive voice. It means to ‘hold spellbound’; and it is synonymous with ‘enrapture, enthral, transport, please’, etc. For example:

  • The audience were ravished by the singer’s performance.
  • The spectators were ravished by the player’s skilful displays.

It also means ‘to rape’, as in:

  • The girl was ravished by her kidnappers.
  • Soldiers ravished the women in the war-torn village.
  • The woman was ravished on her way home at night.

This meaning, however, is rather old-fashioned and is only found in formal or literary contexts. Ravish, still as a verb, also mean ‘to carry off by force’ though this meaning is archaic. Another meaning of ravish, which usually occur in the passive voice, is ‘to overwhelm somebody with deep and pleasurable feelings or emotions’ as in:

  • The poor girl was ravished by the rich man’s gesture.

There are some words related to ravish whose meanings are equally important to note. These words include ravishment, ravishing, ravishingness and ravisher. Let us take a peek at some of these words…

Ravisher is a noun that refers to someone who ravishes.

Ravishment Definition

Ravishment is a noun that refers to a feeling of delight at being filled with wonder and enchantment; that is, entrancement, delectation and delight. Secondarily, it refers to the crime of forcing a woman to submit to sexual intercourse against her will. Ravishment is synonymous with assault, rape, violation, abuse, sex crime, sex offence, sexual abuse, sexual assault, carnal abuse, date rape, statutory rape.

Ravishing Meaning

Ravishing is an adjective that means ‘delightful; lovely; entrancing (extremely delightful); stunningly beautiful; etc. as we have in the following examples:

  • He got married to a ravishing blonde.
  • It was ravishing for Russians to see their team advance to the Quarter Finals of the World Cup.

When we add the suffix ‘-ly’ to ravishing, we have an adverb as in:

  • The scenery was ravishingly captivating.


There are so many words in English that are similar in various respects. Some are classified as homophones, some are homonyms while others are homographs. Take advantage of this platform and check out some commonly used wrong words. There are other commonly confused words and also some words with silent letters. Do not forget to share this post and other educative ones with your friends! You can also check out the following posts:

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