Pronunciation: (des'u-māt"), [key]
—v.t., -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. Obs.to take a tenth of or from.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.