To decimate a group of people is to kill 10% of them.
More loosely, to decimate something is to destroy a whole lot of it.
DESS uh mate
Part of speech:
(Like “eat,” “try,” and “want,” all transitive verbs do something to an object.
You eat a banana, try a game, and want a new phone.
Likewise, you decimate something.)
Other forms: decimated, decimating, decimation, decimator
How to use it:
Talk about something decimating something else:
A disease could decimate a population; a bomb or natural disaster could decimate a city; your bills could decimate your checking account.
Something might decimate your confidence, your dreams, your efforts or attempts, etc., but this kind of abstract usage seems rare.
I hope I live to see the entire mosquito population obliterated, or at least decimated.
Funding cuts decimated the music and sports programs at high school.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "decimate" means when you can explain it without saying “destroy" or "kill off."
Think of something you've completely changed your mind about, and fill in the blanks: "My (interest in/ involvement in/ hobby of/ passion for/ desire to/ belief that) _____ faced decimation when _____."
Example: "My interest in zealously correcting other people's grammar faced decimation when someone did it to me, making me realize how truly obnoxious and off-putting it is."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don't go straight to the review now;let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, we're reviewing recently featured words with some activities created with my favorite vocabulary software: Vocabulary Worksheet Factory, made by Schoolhouse Technologies. It's a simple, flexible program that lets you input word lists and definitions, then create customized, fun worksheets for review. We're starting off with very easy activities, then working our way toward harder reviews throughout the month.
Steven Wright: “You can't have everything. Where would you put it?”
1. The opposite of DECIMATE is
2. These _____ are really decimating my free time.
A. relaxation techniques
B. automated processes
C. tedious but necessary tasks
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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