“I am a little surprised they did not think the networks were decimated in 2012,” he said.
Yet the notion that Barak “decimated the Israeli peace camp” is ahistorical at best.
In Colorado, he decimated his Republican challenger 87 percent to 10 percent.
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.