decimation Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun destroying or killing a large part of the population (literally every tenth person as chosen by lot)


Dec`i*ma"tion noun
L. decimatio: cf. F. décimation.
  1. A tithing. Obs. State Trials (1630).
  2. A selection of every tenth person by lot, as for punishment. Shak.
  3. The destruction of any large proportion, as of people by pestilence or war. Milman.

Webster 1913