Means to destroy a large # of, or 1 out of 10. In the vernacular: a big hunk was blasted out of existence. If the destruction has been TOTAL or complete, then it is said to be OBLITERATED. Bad copy writers make media personalities dumber and dumber with every newscast. It has gotten to the point where popular usage has caused the dictionaries to add notations about "current trends". I will stick that "current trend" right in there with my file for "Bennifer". **bleh** DECIMATE [des-uh-meyt] verb (used with object), -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. obsolete: to take a tenth of or from. Usage note: The earliest English sense of decimate is to select by lot and execute every tenth soldier of (a unit). The extended sense destroy a great number or proportion of developed in the 19th century: Cholera decimated the urban population. Because the etymological sense of one-tenth remains to some extent, decimate is not ordinarily used with exact fractions or percentages: Drought has destroyed (not decimated) nearly 80 percent of the cattle. ANYWHOO-- I had to vent. My incredibly educated CFO just said decimate to describe something financial. Keeping my mouth shut was like nails on a chalkboard, or chewing on carpet.