a combining form meaning “tenth,” used in words denoting units of the metric system (deciliter ); on this model, extended to other systems (decibel ).
Compare deca-.

< French déci- < Latin decimus tenth Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
d denoting one tenth; 10--1: decimetre
[from French déci-, from Latin decimus tenth]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

in the metric system, prefix denoting weights of one-tenth of the standard unit of measure, 1801, from Fr., from L. decimus "tenth," from decem "ten" (see ten).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

deci- pref.
One tenth (10-1): decibel.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
A prefix that means "one tenth," as in deciliter, one tenth of a liter.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Write the following prefixes on the board: deci, centi, milli.
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