A frequently misused word.

Decimate literally means to reduce something by a tenth, but many people use it instead to mean "totally destroy." The word "obliterate" would be a better choice than "decimate."

Decimate comes from the root "deci-" which can be found in other words involving ten, "decimal" for example.
When I decimated the cookies I ate ten out of the hundred-cookie batch.

Joe decimated the rock collection by getting rid of one tenth of the rocks.
by Athene Airheart March 24, 2004
the verb to "decimate" comes from the root of the Latin word for ten. Obvious enough, but the use gets more interesting. The verb "To decimate" is synonymous with "to destroy" and may be used to talk about a great reduction, loss, etc. "Decimation" was used as a Roman military strategy, as punishment for a severe crime, typically rebellion or desertion, the army would be forcibly lined up, and every tenth person would be killed. The form of group punishment based on the number ten is an adequate enough explanation for the origin of the word. Today, the word can be used in a less mathematical context, and still be grammatically correct, though it's still an intense verb.
General Sherman's tactics in the South decimated the Confederate's power by destroying the land and cutting off economic growth.
by Dr. Strangelove77 April 08, 2009
An incorrectly overused word often heard when the speaker actually means to say "devastate", possibly due to the fact that the two words sound quite similar. Decimate means to reduce (by some portion), so it more accurately represents loss or attrition, especially in reference to a given population.
The Anthracnose fungus has decimated the regional White Oak population.
by Loveable Bastard October 13, 2013
To have extremely hardcore, brutal, rough and relentless sex in which the woman agree's to let you use her body for your pleasure in which any way you wish.

The act of decimating someone is usually called Decimation.
"I'm going over Claire's tonight."
"Oh yeh, you gonna decimate her?"
"Too right I am, going to be absolute decimation!"
by SteadyEddyMageddy April 14, 2011
to destroy a large part of .
face + rocket = decimated face
by =virus.exe= November 30, 2004
To utterly pwninate Gaians by perfecting dueling and RPing skills on Gamefaqs.com before joining Gaiaonline
I Joined Decimor's war to DECIMate the Gains.
by BC1284 July 16, 2004

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