[des-uh-muhl, des-muhl]
pertaining to tenths or to the number 10.
proceeding by tens: a decimal system.

1600–10; < Medieval Latin decimālis of tenths, equivalent to Latin decim(a) tenth (derivative of decem ten) + -ālis -al1

decimally, adverb

decimal, decimate, destroy (see usage note at decimate)(see synonym study at destroy). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
decimal (ˈdɛsɪməl)
1.  Also called: decimal fraction a fraction that has a denominator of a power of ten, the power depending on or deciding the decimal place. It is indicated by a decimal point to the left of the numerator, the denominator being omitted. Zeros are inserted between the point and the numerator, if necessary, to obtain the correct decimal place
2.  any number used in the decimal system
3.  a.  relating to or using powers of ten
 b.  of the base ten
4.  (prenominal) expressed as a decimal
[C17: from Medieval Latin decimālis of tithes, from Latin decima a tenth, from decem ten]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1600, from M.L. decimalis "of tithes or tenths," from L. decimus "tenth," from decem "ten" (see ten). Applied to Arabic notation before modern sense of "decimal fractions" emerged.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
decimal   (děs'ə-məl)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A representation of a real number using the base ten and decimal notation, such as 201.4, 3.89, or 0.0006.

  2. A decimal fraction.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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