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a combining form meaning “tenth,” used in words denoting units of the metric system (deciliter); on this model, extended to other systems (decibel).
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Origin of deci-
< French déci- < Latin decimus tenth Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for deci-


denoting one tenth; 10–1: decimetre, d
Word Origin
from French déci-, from Latin decimus tenth
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
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Word Origin and History for deci-

in the metric system, word-forming element denoting weights of one-tenth of the standard unit of measure, 1801, from French deci-, taken arbitrarily from Latin decimus "tenth," from decem "ten" (see ten).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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deci- in Medicine

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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deci- in Science
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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