decimal system


: a number system that uses a notation in which each number is expressed in base 10 by using one of the first nine integers or 0 in each place and letting each place value be a power of 10
: a system of measurement or currency in which the basic units increase by powers of 10

Examples of decimal system in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Today's numerical world is dominated by the Hindu-Arabic decimal system. Amory Tillinghast-Raby, Scientific American, 10 Apr. 2023 Today’s numerical world is dominated by the Hindu-Arabic decimal system. Amory Tillinghast-Raby, Scientific American, 10 Apr. 2023 So what if there was a memory librarian who had a whole Dewey decimal system of people’s past identities? Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 8 Jan. 2023 While Fibonacci saw the superior utility in the Hindu-Arabic system and the related decimal system, Italians and (The Church) viewed it with suspicion. Allison Futterman, Discover Magazine, 12 Jan. 2022 Round numbers in the decimal system are those that are multiples of powers of 10 or of half or a quarter of a power of 10. Ncbi Rofl, Discover Magazine, 10 Apr. 2013 So, the United Kingdom’s National Physical Laboratory proposed a solution that introduces four new prefixes to the International System of Units (SI), the international decimal system of weights and measures that extends the metric system. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 21 Nov. 2022 The bookseller doesn’t have to use the Dewey decimal system or the Library of Congress classifications; the categories that are used to orient and gently disorient visitors can keep changing, creating new topographies in which browsers can get lost. Max Norman, The New Yorker, 6 Aug. 2022 No one tried harder than Miss Elisabeth Achelis, a New York socialite, heir to the American Hard Rubber Company fortune, and an admirer of Melvil Dewey, he of the Dewey decimal system and simplified spelling. The New Yorker, 15 Nov. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'decimal system.' 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

1841, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of decimal system was in 1841

Dictionary Entries Near decimal system

Cite this Entry

“Decimal system.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition

decimal system

: a system of numbers that uses a base of 10
: a system of measurement or money in which each basic unit is 10 times larger than the next smaller unit
the metric system is a decimal system
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