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[dih-sen-ee-uh l]
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  1. of or for ten years.
  2. occurring every ten years.
  1. a decennial anniversary.
  2. its celebration.

Origin of decennial

1650–60; < Latin decenni(um) a period of ten years (decenn(is) decennary + -ium -ium) + -al1
Related formsde·cen·ni·al·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for decennial

Historical Examples

  • This year marks the decennial of the movement in the United Kingdom.

    History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III)


  • Period of the decennial archons, seven of whom succeeded between 752—682.

    A Manual of Ancient History

    A. H. L. (Arnold Hermann Ludwig) Heeren

  • Are you prepared to have, after every decennial census, a new distribution of members among electoral districts?

  • We also observe that the percentage of decennial increase gradually decreased from 1234 per cent.

  • The threat of the Belgian deputies to oppose the decennial budget was now carried out.

    History of Holland

    George Edmundson

British Dictionary definitions for decennial


  1. lasting for ten years
  2. occurring every ten years
  1. a tenth anniversary or its celebration
Derived Formsdecennially, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for decennial


1680s, from Latin decennium, from decennis "of 10 years," from decem "ten" (see ten) + annus "year" (see annual). For vowel change, see biennial.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper