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vasto, āvi, ātum, 1, v. a. [id.; hence, Ital. guastar, and Fr. gāter], to make empty or vacant, to leave untenanted or uninhabited, to desert.

I. Lit. (rare but class.): lex erat lata de vastato ac relicto foro, Cic. Sest. 24, 53: vastati agri sunt, Liv. 3, 32, 2: venator vastata lustra fugit, i.e. destitute of game, Val. Fl. 1, 480: pati terram stirpium asperitate vastari, to lie waste or untilled, Cic. N. D. 2, 39, 99.—

II. Transf., to empty or deprive of inhabitants, to lay waste, desolate, ravage, devastate; to ruin, destroy (the predom. signif. of the word; syn.: populor, vexo).

(a). Absol.: cum equitatus liberius praedandi vastandique causā se in agros ejecerat, Caes. B. G. 5, 19.—

(b). With acc.: ipse ad vastandos depopulandosque fines Ambiorigis proficiscitur, Hirt. B. G. 8, 24: agros, Caes. B. G. 1, 11; Cat. 66, 12; Cic. Verr. 2, 3, 50, 119 (with exinanire): Italiam (with diripere), id. Cat. 4, 6, 13: terram, id. N. D. 2, 39, 99: partem provinciae incursionibus, Caes. B. G. 5, 1: omnia caedibus, incendiis, ruinis, Hirt. B. G. 8, 25: omnia ferro ignique vastata, Liv. 7, 30, 15; 10, 12, 7: omnia (with invadere, polluere), Sall. J. 41, 9: omnia igni ferroque, Vell. 2, 110, 6: Tydides multā vastabat caede cruentus, Verg. A. 1, 471: omnia late vastant, id. G. 4, 16: fana Poenorum tumultu, Hor. C. 4, 4, 47: (zonae) vastantur frigore semper, Tib. 4, 1, 153: cuncta (panthera), Phaedr. 3, 2, 14: direpti vastatique classe, Tac. H. 2, 16: quos (Mardos) vastavit, id. A. 14, 23 fin.—Pass.: ipsi cultores arvaque maturis jam frugibus ut hostile solum vastabantur, Tac. H. 2, 87 fin.—With abl. of that which is destroyed or removed: et latos vastant cultoribus agros, Verg. A. 8, 8: agrosque viris annosaque vastant oppida, Stat. Th. 3, 576.—

B. Trop.: ita conscientia mentem excitam vastabat, harassed, perplexed, Sall. C. 15, 5.