decimal point


: a period, centered dot, or in some countries a comma at the left of a proper decimal fraction (such as .678) or between the parts of a mixed number (such as 3.678) expressed by a whole number and a decimal fraction

Examples of decimal point in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Like my own children, the general public sometimes fails to appreciate a decimal point distribution. Wes Moss, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 For years, historians thought decimal points emerged when German mathematician Christopher Clavius began using them while writing about astronomy in 1593. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Feb. 2024 The temperature at 2:20 p.m. that day was provided to an accuracy of one decimal point. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 27 Jan. 2024 And that’s just the numbers before the decimal point. Manon Bischoff, Scientific American, 24 Jan. 2024 The desk can be adjusted by the decimal point, too. Alida Nugent, Peoplemag, 12 Jan. 2024 These are numbers that have an infinite number of digits before the decimal point—in contrast to ordinary real numbers, which continue indefinitely after the decimal point, such as π = 3.14159.... Manon Bischoff, Scientific American, 11 Jan. 2024 Data in the thousands were rounded to whole numbers while numbers in the millions were rounded to the first decimal point. Rachel Lerman, Washington Post, 22 Dec. 2023 But [DSPs] could lose another zero and move that digit closer to the decimal point. Andre Gee, Rolling Stone, 28 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'decimal point.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1771, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of decimal point was circa 1771

Dictionary Entries Near decimal point

Cite this Entry

“Decimal point.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

decimal point

: the dot at the left of a decimal (as .678) or between the decimal and whole parts of a mixed number (as 3.678)

More from Merriam-Webster on decimal point

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