dec·​i·​mat·​ed | \ ˈde-sə-ˌmā-təd How to pronounce decimated (audio) \

Definition of decimated

1 : drastically reduced especially in number … the decimated population of Atlantic salmon that once gamboled in dozens of rivers in the northeastern United States …— Pete Bodo A denuded forest may one day regrow; the decimated culture that called it home sadly will not.— Stephen Messenger
2 : destroyed or significantly harmed … its dusty streets, scattered with burned out vehicles and flanked on either side by decimated buildings.— Jay Akbar Many workers may want to delay retirement to replenish decimated 401(k) portfolios …— Emily Brandon Can we take as governor a man who'd give $46 million in public money to a bottling lobby, instead of using it to salvage decimated public programs?— David Nyhan — see also decimate

First Known Use of decimated

1658, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About decimated

Time Traveler for decimated

Time Traveler

The first known use of decimated was in 1658

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near decimated



decimating factor

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for decimated

Cite this Entry

“Decimated.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!