de·​cen·​ni·​al | \di-ˈse-nē-əl \

Definition of decennial 

1 : consisting of or lasting for 10 years

2 : occurring or being done every 10 years the decennial census

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from decennial

decennial noun
decennially \ -​nē-​ə-​lē \ adverb

Examples of decennial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Today, gerrymandering is virtually synonymous with Republican gerrymandering, but that’s mainly because the 2010 Tea Party wave election put the GOP in power just as states were engaging in their decennial redistricting process. NBC News, "Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley roots against gerrymander he helped engineer," 30 Mar. 2018 The Census change springs from a somewhat obscure legal debate among some Republicans, who have quietly examined ways to manipulate the decennial survey to effectively gerrymander districts. Tina Nguyen, The Hive, "How Trump Could Turn the 2020 Census Into a Political Weapon," 27 Mar. 2018 The decennial census hasn’t included a question about citizenship since 1950. Washington Post, "Latino leaders question Census head over citizenship query," 23 June 2018 The citizenship question has not been on a decennial census since 1950. New York Times, "Documents Show Political Lobbying in Census Question About Citizenship," 9 June 2018 The decennial census is required by the Constitution and used to determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives, as well as how federal money is distributed to local communities. Larry Neumeister,, "ACLU sues over plans for citizenship question on 2020 census," 6 June 2018 The complex seven-year legal battle focuses on how states use race to redraw their legislative maps after the decennial census. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Consequences of the Supreme Court’s Punt on Gerrymandering," 18 June 2018 Plaskett and other lawmakers say those communities stand to lose millions in federal funds based on the nation’s decennial population count, which begins in April 2020. Deborah Barfield Berry, USA TODAY, "Lawmakers urge Census to count Hurricane Maria victims in their communities," 1 June 2018 The Justice Department requested in December that the Census Bureau add a citizenship question, which hasn’t appeared on the decennial count since 1950, though citizenship status is asked on smaller sample surveys. Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post, "Citizens could also lose services if a citizenship question is added to the 2020 Census, lawsuit says," 7 May 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of decennial

circa 1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about decennial

Dictionary Entries near decennial








Statistics for decennial

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for decennial

The first known use of decennial was circa 1656

See more words from the same year

Comments on decennial

What made you want to look up decennial? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a trusted follower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!