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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Ultimately, one of the Brigade’s decimated battalions was destroyed in a defensive action, while the other defended Fort Botzer through the end of hostilities. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 1 Mar. 2023 But as Fetterman showed us on a drive, other parts of Pennsylvania's Rust Belt remain decimated. CBS News, 24 Jan. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'decimated.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1658, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of decimated was in 1658

Dictionary Entries Near decimated

Cite this Entry

“Decimated.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Mar. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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