Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR DECIMATED

A decimated enemy in the first flush of annoyance can be dangerous.

Decimated, out-worn, but dangerous, the aiding regiments from the left did well.

I cured Patty Dence of diphtheria, when it decimated the village.

Both ships were badly riddled by shot, and their crews were decimated.

Where was all his legacy of knowledge when Norfolk was decimated?

Quick as lightning he passes; and the dancers are decimated.

In previous wars when a battalion was decimated or had lost ten per cent.

It was a difficult bit; and the column was decimated before it had passed.

Rather than alter its track, the column was decimated a second time.

These were decimated on the spot, and the remainder imprisoned.

WORD ORIGIN

c.1600, in reference to the practice of punishing mutinous military units by capital execution of one in every 10, by lot; from Latin decimatus, past participle of decimare (see decimation). Killing one in ten, chosen by lots, from a rebellious city or a mutinous army was a common punishment in classical times. The word has been used (incorrectly, to the irritation of pedants) since 1660s for "destroy a large portion of." Related: Decimated; decimating.

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.