Definition of decimate in English:
- A University of Sydney researcher is claiming up to a third of our snake species could be decimated.
- The idea grew out of an effort to save highly endangered Micronesian kingfishers in Guam, where many bird species had been decimated by a brown snake invasion.
- Prior to 1990 the species had been decimated by a combination of habitat loss and capture of birds for the pet trade, and was considered extinct in the wild.
- How can any honest American still follow this clown, he has decimated the economy and strength of our country, every American should be outraged
- Fiscal infrastructure decimated by the effects of war.
- The fear of the virus has decimated the tourist trade to South East Asia, with Singapore bearing the brunt of the cancellations.
- Augustus firmly imposed his discipline on his men: he once dismissed an entire legion in disgrace, and didn't hesitate to decimate troops who would give in to the enemy.
late Middle English: from Latin decimat- 'taken as a tenth', from the verb decimare, from decimus 'tenth'. In Middle English the term decimation denoted the levying of a tithe, and later the tax imposed by Cromwell on the Royalists (1655).
Historically, the meaning of the word decimate is ‘kill one in every ten of (a group of people)’. This sense has been more or less totally superseded by the later, more general sense ‘kill, destroy, or remove a large proportion of’, as in the virus has decimated the population. Some traditionalists argue that this is incorrect, but it is clear that it is now part of standard English.
- Example sentences
- For entire units that did not do their duty in battle, there was the judgment of decimation - the execution of every tenth man until all were gone or the punishment was suspended.
- Surely all existing sites must be occupied before the planners even contemplate any further decimation of the green belt.
- All the hand-wringing last week about Ireland's lack of competitiveness and the decimation of the country's industrial base reinforces the need for a dynamic tourism department.
Definition of decimate in:
- US English dictionary
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