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French décimal, from Medieval Latin decimalis of a tithe, from Latin decima tithe


a : based on the number 10; especially : expressed in or utilizing a decimal system especially with a decimal point
b : subdivided into 10th or 100th units <decimal coinage>


The decimal numeral system (also called base ten or occasionally denary) has ten as its base. It is the numerical base most widely used by modern civilizations.

Decimal notation often refers to the base-10 positional notation such as the Hindu-Arabic numeral system, however it can also be used more generally to refer to non-positional systems such as Roman or Chinese numerals which are also based on powers of ten.

In some contexts, especially mathematics education, the term decimal can refer specifically to decimal fractions. In such cases, a single decimal fraction is called a "decimal", and non-fractional numbers, even when written in base 10, are not considered "decimals".

See also