decimal point

[ des-uh-muhl point, des-muhl ]
See synonyms for decimal point on
  1. a dot used to separate the whole part of a mixed number from its fractional part: for example, in the mixed number 32.89, the whole part is 32 whole units, the fractional part is 89 one-hundredths, and the dot that allows for the expression 32.89 is the decimal point: If you want to multiply 14.675 by 10, just move the decimal point one place to the right to get 146.75, the correct answer.

Origin of decimal point

First recorded in 1700–05

Words Nearby decimal point Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use decimal point in a sentence

  • Ecks responded with a cartoon of "Miss Meekness, making a slip of the decimal point."

    The Incendiary | W. A. (William Augustine) Leahy
  • "Printer's error in the decimal point," returned the other, with airy impudence.

    The Clarion | Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • These are easily got from the corresponding percentages by shifting the decimal point one, three, or four places to the right.

    A Textbook of Assaying: For the Use of Those Connected with Mines. | Cornelius Beringer and John Jacob Beringer

British Dictionary definitions for decimal point

decimal point

  1. a full stop or a raised full stop placed between the integral and fractional parts of a number in the decimal system

usage For decimal point

Conventions relating to the use of the decimal point are confused. The IX General Conference on Weights and Measures resolved in 1948 that the decimal point should be a point on the line or a comma, but not a centre dot. It also resolved that figures could be grouped in threes about the decimal point, but that no point or comma should be used for this purpose. These conventions are adopted in this dictionary. However, the Decimal Currency Board recommended that for sums of money the centre dot should be used as the decimal point and that the comma should be used as the thousand marker. Moreover, in some countries the position is reversed, the comma being used as the decimal point and the dot as the thousand marker

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

Scientific definitions for decimal point

decimal point

  1. A period used in decimal notation to separate whole numbers from fractions, as in the number 1.3, which represents 1 + 310.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for decimal point

decimal point

The point or dot placed to the left of decimals to separate them from the whole number portion of the decimal. When the number is spoken aloud, the word point is usually used to signify the decimal point. For example, “8.3” is read “eight point three.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.