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Metaphorical UsagePlay
Often used metaphorically to express severe damage, not always physical destruction. SlideThe financial crisis decimated the industry.
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'Decimate' implies extensive harm but not total destruction. SlideLocusts can decimate fields of crops but won't wipe out everything.
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Emotional WeightPlay
It carries an emotional weight, suggesting a catastrophe or disaster. SlideThe community was decimated by the plant closure.