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tr.v. dec·i·mat·ed, dec·i·mat·ing, dec·i·mates
1. To destroy or kill a large part of (a group of people or organisms).
2. Usage Problem
a. To inflict great destruction or damage on: The storm decimated the region.
b. To reduce markedly in amount: a profligate heir who decimated his trust fund.
3. To select by lot and kill one in every ten of (a group of soldiers).

[Latin decimāre, decimāt-, to punish every tenth person, from decimus, tenth, from decem, ten; see dekm̥ in Indo-European roots.]

dec′i·ma′tion n.
Usage Note: Decimate originally referred to the killing of every tenth person, a punishment used in the Roman army for mutinous legions. Today this meaning is commonly extended to include the killing of any large proportion of a population. In our 2005 survey, 81 percent of the Usage Panel accepts this extension in the sentence The Jewish population of Germany was decimated by the war, even though it is common knowledge that the number of Jews killed was much greater than a tenth of the original population. This is an increase from the 66 percent who accepted this sentence in our 1988 survey. However, the Panel is less accepting of usages that extend the meaning to include large-scale destruction other than killing, as in The supply of fresh produce was decimated by the nuclear accident at Chernobyl. Some 36 percent accepted this sentence in 2005, up from 26 percent in 1988, but still a decided minority.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.decimation - destroying or killing a large part of the population (literally every tenth person as chosen by lot)
destruction, devastation - the termination of something by causing so much damage to it that it cannot be repaired or no longer exists
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
قَتْل عَدَد كَبيرٍ من
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[ˌdesɪˈmeɪʃən] N (lit, fig) → aniquilación f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˌdɛsɪˈmeɪʃən] n
(= destruction) [forests, animals, people] → destruction f
(= massive reduction) [system, organization] → décimation f
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(ˈdesimeit) verb
(of disease, battle etc) to reduce greatly in number. The population was decimated by the plague.
ˌdeciˈmation noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


n. gran mortalidad, diezma.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
The hospital has started providing free services to all the patients without any decimation, he said and insisted that a summary is also forwarded to Chief Minister of Balochistan regarding daily wages and contract employees.He further said that CHQ was receiving a grant of 35 million rupees annually which has been increased to 150 million by the Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal.
Summary: Bangalore (Karnataka) [India], Jun 14 (ANI): Amidst coalitions troubles and decimation of the ruling combine in elections, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Friday expanded his Cabinet by inducting two JD(U) MLAs of his party.
Rondina was an unstoppable force in UST's decimation of Ateneo, putting up 23 points on 20 attacks and two blocks.
Green Party spokeswoman Pippa Hackett said: "These concerns were highlighted directly to Irish Rail a week previously when they began their decimation of the mature hedge on the other side of the track.
Such was the decimation by Kings' bowlers that Hammad Azam remained the top scorer for the Sultans with 29 off 30 balls.
He said that no decimation would be made while taking development-oriented measures for the less developed areas and all the districts would be treated equally, the CM added.
Muhammad Nawaz picked two wickets while Muhamad Hasnain bagged one to assist the pace attack, in restricting Sultans to 121.Johnson Charles remained the only key resister for Sultans with his 46 off 36 runs knock with five boundaries and a six, to prevent a complete decimation of Sultans.The next in line was skipper Shoaib Malik with his 21 off 24.Quetta Gladiators drew the first blood for Multan Sultans with the wicket of James Vince during the powerplay overs in thesecond fixture of the day at the Dubai International Stadium.
I FOUGHT against Thatcher's decimation of industry in the 80s, when we saw the mining and steel industries north and south of the Border butchered on the altar of Tory dogma.
The union is smaller as a decimation industry by government of IN reply to HH Parfitt, South Wales Echo letters, October 9, the South Wales Miners Union is, as Mr Parfitt says, considerably smaller in membership now, which is obviously as a result of the decimation of the coal industry by the Tory government of the 1980s.
A growing population and increasing infrastructure needs have also led to the decimation of animal habitats and forests, and resulted in loss and endangerment of animal and plant species only found in Pakistan.
The board comes pre-installed with IP for DFRM, triggered waveform and radar chirp generator, triggered radar range gate engine, wideband real-time transient capture, flexible multi-mode data acquisition and extended decimation. The Model 5950 can be used out-of-the-box with the built-in functions requiring no FPGA development.