lay (something) to waste

lay (something) to waste

To destroy or ruin something completely or utterly. The fire laid an entire block of houses to waste in a matter of hours. The plundering army assembled and made ready to lay the kingdom to waste.
See also: lay, waste

lay something to waste

 and lay waste to something
Fig. to destroy something; to ruin or mess up something. The invaders laid the village to waste. The kids came in and laid waste to my clean house.
See also: lay, waste
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