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decimate (verb) kill a large number of plants, animals, or people in an area; cause severe damage.

If a large number of plants, animals, or people die in an area because of a disease or of any calamity, they are decimated. The mad cow disease in Britain decimated a large number of cows. That is, because of the disease a large number of cows died. As urbanization increases and the countryside is deserted, we say that the countryside has been decimated by large-scale industrialization. Global competition may decimate indigenous industry. That is, the industry of a country may suffer a lot on account of competition from countries across the world.

  • As Ethiopia reels under famine, a large number of children are decimated as a result of malnutrition and utter poverty.
  • Because of indiscriminate industrialization, forest wealth has been decimated in a number of countries to provide raw material for some of the industries, and the water table has been upset.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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