Decimate meaning

dĕs'ə-māt'
Decimate is defined as to destroy or kill a large part of something.

An example of decimate is for a natural disaster to kill a large portion of a population.

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To destroy or kill a large part of (a group of people or organisms).
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To select by lot and kill one in every ten of (a group of soldiers).
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To inflict great destruction or damage on.

The storm decimated the region.

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To reduce markedly in amount.

A profligate heir who decimated his trust fund.

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To select by lot and kill every tenth one of.
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To destroy or kill a large part of.

Famine decimated the population.

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To take a tenth part of; tithe.
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(Roman history) To kill one man chosen by lot out of every ten in a legion or other military group.
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To reduce anything by one in ten, or ten percent.
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(historical) To exact a tithe or tax of 10 percent.
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To reduce to one-tenth.
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To severely reduce; to destroy almost completely.
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(computer graphics) To replace a high-resolution model with one of lower resolution but acceptably similar appearance.
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Origin of decimate

From Latin decimare "to take the tenth (decimus) part of anything", in particular referring to the levying and payment of tithe and also the practice of capital punishment applied to one man at random (by lot) out of every ten in a legion; compare quintate.