One set of officials advocated for a campaign to decimate ISIS in both countries by striking ISIS targets across Syria.
And, from the south, chronic wasting disease is poised to decimate the elk herds.
Foley and Gephardt warned that the legislation could decimate Democrats in the midterm elections.
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.