Decimate means to destroy or kill a large portion of something or to cause great damage or harm.
Part of speech
Devastate, annihilate, obliterate, ravage, demolish, eliminate, wipe out
Build, create, construct, develop, establish, foster, nurture
- The earthquake decimated the entire city, leaving only rubble and ruins.
- The disease decimated the population, killing millions of people in just a few years.
- The hurricane decimated the crops, causing widespread famine and hardship.
- The company’s decision to cut jobs will decimate the workforce, leaving many people without employment.
The word “decimate” comes from the Latin word “decimare,” which means “to take a tenth.” In ancient times, this term was used to describe a military punishment in which every tenth soldier in a unit was executed as a means of discipline. Over time, the meaning of the word has shifted to refer to any situation in which a large portion of something is destroyed or damaged.
The prefix “de-” in “decimate” means “to remove or reverse,” indicating that this word refers to a process of removing or reversing something on a large scale. The suffix “-ate” is commonly used in English to form verbs that indicate the action of the noun. Therefore, “decimate” is a verb that describes the action of destroying or killing a large portion of something.
There are several variations of the word “decimate” that are formed using prefixes, suffixes, or roots. For example, the prefix “re-” is commonly used to indicate repetition or return to a previous state. Therefore, the word “redecimate” may be used to describe a situation in which something that was previously destroyed or damaged is destroyed or damaged again. Another variation is the word “decimation,” which is a noun that describes the process or result of decimating.
It is important to use the word “decimate” carefully and accurately, as it implies a significant amount of destruction or harm. In some cases, the word may be used hyperbolically or metaphorically to describe a situation in which a large number of people or things are affected, but it is important to avoid using it in ways that trivialize or exaggerate the situation. Additionally, the word should not be used to describe situations in which only a small portion of something is affected, as this does not accurately reflect the meaning of the word.
Overall, the word “decimate” is a powerful verb that is used to describe situations in which a large portion of something is destroyed or damaged. It is important to use this word accurately and avoid using it in ways that exaggerate or trivialize harm or destruction