Origin of deci-
WORDS THAT USE DECI-
What does deci- mean?
Deci- comes from the Latin decimus, meaning “tenth.” The word decimate, meaning “to destroy a great number or proportion of” comes from this same Latin root. Find out how at our entry for decimate.
Despite the similarity between the two forms, it’s important not to confuse deci-, which means “tenth,” with deca-, meaning “ten.” A decigram is one-tenth of a gram (0.1 g), but a decagram is ten grams (10 g).
Examples of deci-
One example of a technical term you may have encountered that features the combining form deci- is decimeter, “a unit of length equal to 1/10 of a meter.” Decimeter comes from the French décimètre, which uses the equivalent of the combining form deci-.
The first part of the word, deci-, means “tenth,” as we have seen. The combining form -meter has a variety of meanings, but in this case it refers to the metric unit “meter.” Decimeter literally means “a tenth of a meter.”
What are some words that use the combining form deci-?
- decillion (using the equivalent form of deci- in Latin)
- deciliter (using the equivalent form of deci- in French)
- decimal (using the equivalent form of deci- in Latin)
What are some other forms that deci- may be commonly confused with?
Not every word that begins with the exact letters dec- or deci-, such as decide and decision, is necessarily using the combining forming deci- to denote “tenth.” Learn where these words come from at our entries for decide and decision.
How to use deci- in a sentence
Thus the -m in dece-m, as compared with δέκα, is reasonably supposed to be the -m- in deci-m-us.The Natural History of the Varieties of Man|Robert Gordon Latham