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decimation (n.)

mid-15c., "the paying of tithes," from Late Latin decimationem (nominative decimatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin decimare "the removal or destruction of one-tenth," from decem "ten" (from PIE root *dekm- "ten"). Earliest sense in English was of a tithe; punishment sense is from 1580s; transferred sense of "much destruction, severe loss" recorded from 1680s.