decimate vs eliminate what difference

what is difference between decimate and eliminate

English

Etymology

Borrowed from Latin decimāre (to take or offer a tenth part), from decimus (tenth). As a noun, via Latin decimatus (tithing area; tithing rights).

Pronunciation

  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈdɛ.sɪ.meɪt/
  • (US) enPR: de.sə’māt”, IPA(key): /ˈdɛ.sə.meɪt/

Verb

decimate (third-person singular simple present decimates, present participle decimating, simple past and past participle decimated)

  1. (archaic) To kill one-tenth of a group, (historical, specifically) as a military punishment in the Roman army selected by lot, usually carried out by the surviving soldiers.
    • c. 1650, Jeremy Taylor, Vol. I:
      God sometimes decimates or tithes delinquent persons, and they died for a common crime, according as God hath cast their lot in the decrees of predestination.
    • 1989, Basil Davidson, “The Ancient World and Africa” in Egypt Revisited, p. 49:
      Said to have been martyred as a Christian legionary commander of late Roman times for having refused an imperial order to kill one in ten (that is, decimate in the Roman meaning of the word) of the soldiers of another legion which had gone into revolt…
    • 1998, Adrian Goldsworthy, The Roman Army at War, p. 263:
      …where Caesar threatened to disband Legio X after a mutiny. The men begged him to decimate them instead, and Caesar relented in the same way that Titus refrained from executing this cavalryman after his comrades’ appeal.
    • 2007, Russell T. Davies, Doctor Who, “The Sound of Drums”:
      Shall we decimate them? That sounds good, nice word. Remove one-tenth of the population!
  2. To destroy or remove one-tenth of anything.
    • 1840, P.J. Proudhon, What is Property?, p. 164:
      …there will be eight hundred and ten laborers producing as nine hundred, while, to accomplish their purpose, they would have to produce as one thousand… Here, then, we have a society which is continually decimating itself…
  3. (loosely) To devastate: to reduce or destroy significantly but not completely.
    • p. 1856, James Froude, History of England from the fall of Wolsey to the death of Elizabeth:
      [England] had decimated itself for a question which involved no principle, and led to no result.
    • 1996, Star Trek: Voyager (TV series), Flashback (episode)
      Um, some sort of power overload. I’m afraid it decimated your breakfast.
    • 2001, Otis C. Maloy, Timothy D. Murray, et. al., “Encyclopedia of Plant Pathology”, vol. 1, p. 379:
      They can be devastating to certain plants if left uncontrolled: a downy mildew of grapes decimated European vineyards during the nineteenth century.
  4. (obsolete) To exact a tithe or other 10% tax
    • 1669, John Dryden, “The Wild Gallant”:
      I have heard you are as poor as a decimated Cavalier [referring to Cromwell’s ten per cent. income-tax on Cavaliers], and had not one foot of land in all the world.
    • 1819, John Lingard, History of England, p. 352:
      In addition, an ordinance was published that “all who had ever borne arms for the king, or declared themselves to be of the royal party, should be decimated, that is, pay a tenth part of all the estate which they had left, to support the charge which the commonwealth was put to…
  5. (obsolete, rare) To tithe: to pay a 10% tax.
  6. (obsolete) To decimalize: to divide into tenths, hundredths etc.
  7. (proscribed) To reduce to one-tenth: to destroy or remove nine-tenths of anything.
    • 1998, H. Wayne House, ed., Israel, the Land and the People, p. 63:
      In this dramatic picture, the nation is literally decimated, and even the tenth which remains is subjected to a further destruction.
    • 2003, Susan S. Hunter, Black Death, p. 58:
      African slaves were needed to replace Native American populations that had been decimated (literally reduced to one-tenth their size) by European conquest.
    • 2005, Wilma A. Dunaway, “Put in Master’s Pocket” in Appalachians and Race, p. 116:
      In the New World, European colonists initially enslaved Native Americans, decimating the indigenous populations to one-tenth of their original sizes.
  8. (computer graphics) To replace a high-resolution model with another of lower but acceptable quality.
    • 1999, Mihalisin & al., “Visualizing Multivariate Functions, Data and Distributions” in Readings in Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think, p. 122:
      A decimate tool allows us to obtain a more coarse-grained view of the data over the full n-dimensional space.
    • 2001, Inside 3Ds Max 4, p. 56:
      However, many times it is more practical to decimate existing high-res models because of time, money or manpower issues.
    • 2004, Geremy Heitz & al., “Automatic Generation of Shape Models using Nonrigid Registration with a Single Segmented Template Mesh” in Vision Modeling and Visualization 2004, p. 74:
      Given this initial fine mesh, we smooth and decimate it to a desired mesh resolution.

Usage notes

Senses of decimate other than “to reduce by one in ten” are occasionally proscribed but “to devastate” has now become a more common usage. The sense “to reduce to one in ten” is etymologically unsound and omitted by the OED but increasingly common.

Synonyms

  • (to kill 10% of): tithe
  • (to kill 90% of): tithe
  • (to lay waste): See devastate
  • (to pay a 10% tax): See tithe
  • (to divide into ⅒s): See decimalize

Coordinate terms

  • (reduce proportionately, by single aliquot part): tertiate (⅓), quintate (⅕), sextate (⅙), septimate (⅐), duodecimate (¹⁄₁₂), centesimate (¹⁄₁₀₀)

Derived terms

  • decimater, decimator
  • decimating
  • decimation

Related terms

  • quintate

Translations

Noun

decimate (plural decimates)

  1. (obsolete) A tithe or other 10% tax or payment.
  2. (obsolete) A tenth of something.
  3. (obsolete) A set of ten items.

References

  • decimate in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • William Dwight Whitney and Benjamin E[li] Smith, editors (1914), “decimate”, in The Century Dictionary: An Encyclopedic Lexicon of the English Language, volume II (D–Hoon), revised edition, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., OCLC 1078064371.

Anagrams

  • edematic, medicate

Italian

Verb

decimate

  1. inflection of decimare:
    1. second-person plural present indicative
    2. second-person plural imperative
  2. feminine plural of decimato

Anagrams

  • medicate

Latin

Verb

decimāte

  1. second-person plural present active imperative of decimō


English

Etymology

From Latin eliminatus, past participle of eliminare (to turn out of doors, banish), from e (out) + limen (a threshold), akin to limes (a boundary); see limit.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ɪˈlɪməneɪt/

Verb

eliminate (third-person singular simple present eliminates, present participle eliminating, simple past and past participle eliminated)

  1. (transitive) To completely remove, get rid of, put an end to.
  2. (transitive, slang) To kill (a person or animal).
    a ruthless mobster who eliminated his enemies
  3. (transitive, intransitive, physiology) To excrete (waste products).
  4. (transitive) To exclude (from investigation or from further competition).
    Bill was eliminated as a suspect when the police interviewed witnesses.
    John was eliminated as a contestant when it was found he had gained, rather than lost, weight.
  5. (accounting) To record amounts in a consolidation statement to remove the effects of inter-company transactions.

Synonyms

  • See also Thesaurus:destroy, abrogate, abolish
  • (excrete): See Thesaurus:urinate and Thesaurus:defecate

Related terms

  • eliminable
  • eliminant
  • elimination
  • eliminative
  • eliminator
  • eliminatory

Hyponyms

  • give the chop to
  • give the boot to
  • give the sack to
  • give the walking papers to

Translations

Further reading

  • eliminate in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • eliminate in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.

References

Anagrams

  • itameline

Italian

Verb

eliminate

  1. inflection of eliminare:
    1. second-person plural present indicative
    2. second-person plural imperative
  2. feminine plural of eliminato

Anagrams

  • eliantemi

Latin

Verb

ēlīmināte

  1. second-person plural present active imperative of ēlīminō

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