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English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'

Decimation   Listen
Decimation  n.  
A tithing. (Obs.)
A selection of every tenth person by lot, as for punishment.
The destruction of any large proportion, as of people by pestilence or war.

Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48

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"Decimation" Quotes from Famous Books

... rapid advancement, instead of inviting retrogression in knowledge, and a double decimation in Sunday school attendance, by compelling scholars to go searching through a book as uninteresting and unfathomable to ...
— Mr. World and Miss Church-Member • W. S. Harris

... Instruction; they left it, however, at the expiration of six months, under frivolous pretexts, but foreseeing the approaching fall of the Ministry, and not wishing to be there at the last moment. They were not deceived. The elections of 1821 completed the decimation of the weak battalion which still endeavoured to stand firm round tottering power. The Duke de Richelieu, who had only resumed office on a personal promise from the Count d'Artois of permanent support, complained loudly, with the independent spirit of a nobleman of high rank ...
— Memoirs To Illustrate The History Of My Time - Volume 1 • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... some cease feeling Even themselves or for themselves. Dullness best solves The tease and doubt of shelling, And Chance's strange arithmetic Comes simpler than the reckoning of their shilling. They keep no check on Armies' decimation. ...
— Poems • Wilfred Owen

... this imposition, which commonly passed by the name of decimation, the protector instituted twelve major-generals; and divided the whole kingdom of England into so many ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part E. - From Charles I. to Cromwell • David Hume

... lived in caves, of which thirty-six hundred were found occupied by families,—father, mother, and children as soon as old enough, employed in the mills, and returning at night to these dens, where filth and darkness periodically did their work of decimation, and where infant mortality had reached the maximum. Horrified at the discoveries made, three thousand of these dwellings were at once destroyed. But for unknown and quite inscrutable reasons six hundred were allowed to remain and receive double the original ...
— Women Wage-Earners - Their Past, Their Present, and Their Future • Helen Campbell

... because it is impossible to find out what passes in the interior of any man's mind. Suppose it were in contemplation to exclude all men from certain offices who contended for the legality of taking tithes: the only mode of discovering that fervid love of decimation which I know you to possess would be to tender you an oath "against that damnable doctrine, that it is lawful for a spiritual man to take, abstract, appropriate, subduct, or lead away the tenth calf, sheep, lamb, ox, pigeon, duck," &c., ...
— Peter Plymley's Letters and Selected Essays • Sydney Smith

... good feet. A man who pretends to belong to an infantry company ought always to keep himself in training, so that any moment he can march twenty or thirty miles without feeling a pang or raising a blister. Was this the case with even a decimation of the army who rushed to defend Washington? Were you so trained, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 7, No. 44, June, 1861 • Various

... the bar to dance before the Judges at Lincoln's Inn at Christmas, and in James I.'s time the under barristers were, by decimation, put out of Commons, because they did not dance, as was their wont, according to the ancient custom of the Society.[73] This practice is also mentioned in a book published about 1730, called Round About our Coal Fire, etc. "The dancing and singing of the Benchers ...
— A Righte Merrie Christmasse - The Story of Christ-Tide • John Ashton

... particular day, every human being who had risen above the level of his fellows, and, in virtue of his knowledge, ingenuity, genius, energy, and initiative, was capable of directing his fellows better than they could direct themselves. If such an annual decimation were inaugurated to-morrow in civilised countries such as Great Britain and America, the mass of the population would soon sink into a poverty deeper and more helpless than that which was their lot before the ability of the few, operating through ...
— A Critical Examination of Socialism • William Hurrell Mallock

... vain poor Decimation tried To furnish forth the needful tide; And Civil War as vainly shed Her ...
— Shapes of Clay • Ambrose Bierce

... ago, a parliamentary commission on the subject of weights and measures, advised the adoption of a decimal scale, but recommended as a preliminary step, the decimation of the Coinage. Regarding it as important, however, that great deference should be paid to existing circumstances, and that the present relative notions of value, so deeply rooted in the public mind, should ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 428 - Volume 17, New Series, March 13, 1852 • Various

Words linked to "Decimation" :   decimate, devastation, destruction

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