Dictionary

decimate

verb dec·i·mate \ˈde-sə-ˌmāt\

: to destroy a large number of (plants, animals, people, etc.)

: to severely damage or destroy a large part of (something)

dec·i·mat·eddec·i·mat·ing

Full Definition of DECIMATE

transitive verb
1
:  to select by lot and kill every tenth man of
2
:  to exact a tax of 10 percent from <poor as a decimated Cavalier — John Dryden>
3
a :  to reduce drastically especially in number <cholera decimated the population>
b :  to cause great destruction or harm to <firebombs decimated the city> <an industry decimated by recession>
dec·i·ma·tion \ˌde-sə-ˈmā-shən\ noun
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Examples of DECIMATE

  1. This kind of moth is responsible for decimating thousands of trees in our town.
  2. Budget cuts have decimated public services in small towns.

Origin of DECIMATE

Latin decimatus, past participle of decimare, from decimus tenth, from decem ten
First Known Use: 1660

Related to DECIMATE

Rhymes with DECIMATE

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DECIMATED Defined for Kids

decimate

verb dec·i·mate \ˈde-sə-ˌmāt\
dec·i·mat·eddec·i·mat·ing

Definition of DECIMATE for Kids

1
:  to destroy a large number of <The insects decimated thousands of trees.>
2
:  to severely damage or destroy a large part of

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