tr.v. de·cap·i·tat·ed, de·cap·i·tat·ing, de·cap·i·tates
1. To cut off the head of; behead.
2. To destroy or incapacitate (a government or organization, for example) by killing or removing its leader or leaders.
[Late Latin dēcapitāre, dēcapitāt- : Latin dē-, de- + Latin caput, capit-, head; see kaput- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.