de·​cen·​ni·​al | \ di-ˈse-nē-əl How to pronounce decennial (audio) \

Definition of decennial

1 : consisting of or lasting for 10 years
2 : occurring or being done every 10 years the decennial census

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Other Words from decennial

decennial noun
decennially \ di-​ˈse-​nē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce decennially (audio) \ adverb

Examples of decennial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Even a tally as seemingly straightforward as the decennial Census—a Constitutional obligation to count every head in the United States—has been subject to political skirmishes over the past several decades. Charles Seife, Wired, "The Politics of Counting Things Is About to Explode," 21 May 2020 What’s unique about the decennial census in the United States? Anna Diamond, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Enumerated Story of the Census," 13 Apr. 2020 The consequences of overlooking young children in a community can be harmful since the decennial census helps determine the distribution of $1.5 trillion in federal spending, including money for schools, Head Start and family nutrition programs. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "'Sesame Street' launches 2020 census starring the Count to remind families everyone counts," 10 Mar. 2020 The race and ethnicity category on the decennial census allows Asian Americans to identify as Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Asian Indian, Vietnamese or Other Asian. NBC News, "Group fights for Taiwanese Americans to be counted in census," 5 Mar. 2020 Missing out on residents in the decennial Census doesn’t just mean an inaccurate population sign at the city limits. Cole Lauterbach, Washington Examiner, "Arizona behind national average in Census completion," 2 Apr. 2020 The traditional, decennial census is now almost certainly in the early stages of decline. Andrew Whitby, Wired, "A Brief History of the Census—and How Covid-19 Could Change It," 1 Apr. 2020 Funding concerns Counties with large universities depend heavily on student responses to the decennial census, because the census counts determine the levels of federal funding communities receive. The Conversation, "Students could be undercounted in the census as coronavirus closes colleges – here’s why that matters," 23 Mar. 2020 As the decennial census approaches, its organizers, demographers, and various advocacy groups are working to get everyone counted to ensure accurate representation in government, among other things. Hanna Kozlowska, Quartz, "Here’s what you should know about the 2020 US Census," 23 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decennial.' 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 decennial

circa 1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for decennial

Time Traveler

The first known use of decennial was circa 1656

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Statistics for decennial

Last Updated

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Decennial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with decennial

Nglish: Translation of decennial for Spanish Speakers

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