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
—adj
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]
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.
Fractional numbers (seefraction) expressed as whole numbers of tenths, hundredths, thousandths, and so on. One-half, for example, is 0.5 in decimal terms.