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Meaning of decimate

dec•i•mate

Pronunciation: (des'u-māt"), [key]
— -mat•ed, -mat•ing.
  1. to destroy a great number or proportion of: The population was decimated by a plague.
  2. to select by lot and kill every tenth person of.
  3. to take a tenth of or from.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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