de·​cade | \ ˈde-ˌkād How to pronounce decade (audio) , de-ˈkād; especially sense 1b ˈde-kəd \

Definition of decade

1 : a group or set of 10 his prisoners were divided into decades— William Godwin : such as
a : a period of 10 years has been teaching for over a decade the decade of the twenties
b Roman Catholicism : a division of the rosary that consists primarily of 10 Hail Marys
2 mathematics : a ratio of 10 to 1 : order of magnitude

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Other Words from decade

decadal \ ˈde-​kə-​dᵊl How to pronounce decadal (audio) \ adjective

Examples of decade in a Sentence

The war lasted nearly a decade. The bridge was built a decade ago. The decade of the 1920s runs from January 1, 1920 to December 31, 1929. the first decade of the 21st century There have been a lot of changes during the past two decades.
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Recent Examples on the Web Compared to the now decade-old 5-watt charging technology, any one of these USB-C setups feels like a cell phone supercharger. Max Lockie, Quartz, "Apple will change the way we charge phones," 13 Oct. 2020 The secretary of state can also play a pivotal role in the once-a-decade job of redrawing the boundaries of legislative and Congressional districts and often weighs in on government transparency policy and law. oregonlive, "Here is how the 2 candidates running for Oregon secretary of state say they’d do the job," 9 Oct. 2020 It is derived from the once-a-decade head count of every U.S. resident that is set to end at the end of the month. Mike Schneider, Star Tribune, "For 3rd time, groups seek end to Trump order on House seats," 8 Oct. 2020 Only Mariah could meet the current moment by dusting off a nearly decade-old work-in-progress from deep within her vault. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 100 Greatest Mariah Carey Songs: Staff Picks," 5 Oct. 2020 The once-a-decade census determines how $1.5 trillion in federal spending is distributed annually, as well as how many congressional seats and Electoral College votes each state gets. Arkansas Online, "Census Bureau: Target could be met if not for court meddling," 5 Oct. 2020 Soybean growers are ending a more than decade-old partnership with the country’s main agribusiness association after Abag joined environmentalists in a group that’s been pressuring the government to take action against deforestation. Tatiana Freitas,, "Brazil Farmers Split From Traders Over Amazon Protection Efforts," 2 Oct. 2020 Seminole County commissioners this week adopted a larger budget and kept the same decade-old property tax rate. Martin E. Comas,, "Despite sagging economy, Seminole adopts larger budget for next year," 23 Sep. 2020 The once-a-decade headcount of every U.S. resident helps determine how $1.5 trillion in federal funding is distributed and how many congressional seats each state gets in a process known as apportionment. CBS News, "Federal judge temporarily halts Census Bureau from ending headcount a month earlier than planned," 10 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decade.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of decade

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for decade

Middle English, from Middle French décade, from Late Latin decad-, decas, from Greek dekad-, dekas, from deka — see deca-

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Time Traveler for decade

Time Traveler

The first known use of decade was in the 15th century

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Statistics for decade

Last Updated

24 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Decade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for decade


How to pronounce decade (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of decade

: a period of 10 years especially : a 10-year period beginning with a year ending in 0


de·​cade | \ ˈde-ˌkād How to pronounce decade (audio) , de-ˈkād \

Kids Definition of decade

: a period of ten years

More from Merriam-Webster on decade

Nglish: Translation of decade for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of decade for Arabic Speakers

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