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 After the shortest awards season in decades, the 92nd annual Academy Awards will get underway Sunday evening at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Washington Post, "From Pitt to ‘1917,’ what to anticipate at Sunday’s Oscars," 9 Feb. 2020 Before President Trump took office, Mr. Sanders also largely voted against the defense budgets in his three decades in Congress, with exceptions in 2010, 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2003 and 2002. Linda Qiu, New York Times, "Fact-Checking Bernie Sanders Before the Iowa Caucuses," 1 Feb. 2020 But while meteorologists had known Irma’s path for some time, the intense solar flare—the most powerful of the decade—came largely as a surprise. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "These close-up photos of the sun could help us forecast space weather," 31 Jan. 2020 Nearly two decades later, those emails are lost in cyberspace. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "The lost art of passing notes: How friends keep memories alive with letters from the '70s," 29 Jan. 2020 The forthcoming series will explore the lives the 75 survivors have built around the United Kingdom in the decades since their liberation. Asia Ewart,, "Kate Middleton Reveals Two Portraits She Created For Holocaust Remembrance Day," 28 Jan. 2020 The next year the Dream Team led by Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird won a gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics, the catalyst for the NBA's global popularity that continues to resonate almost three decades later. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "With game in Paris on Friday, Milwaukee Bucks at center of NBA's mission to boost league's brand overseas," 22 Jan. 2020 More than two decades later Wicker, now a senator, has recently reaffirmed that standard. Marcus Hedahl, The Conversation, "A Navy scandal sheds light on the nature of bribery and the limits of free speech," 17 Jan. 2020 More than eight decades later, it is understandably worn, writes Erin Wayman for . Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Immerse Yourself in Jane Goodall’s Wondrous, Chimpanzee-Filled Life," 8 Jan. 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

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Decade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on decade

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with decade

Spanish Central: Translation of decade

Nglish: Translation of decade for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of decade for Arabic Speakers

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