[dek-eyd; British also duh-keyd]


a period of ten years: the three decades from 1776 to 1806.
a period of ten years beginning with a year whose last digit is zero: the decade of the 1980s.
a group, set, or series of ten.

Origin of decade

1425–75; late Middle English < Middle French < Late Latin decad- (stem of decas) < Greek dekad- (stem of dekás) group of ten, equivalent to dék(a) ten + -ad- -ade2
Related formshalf-dec·ade, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for half-decade

Contemporary Examples of half-decade

  • There have been attempts to excavate the remains, and many have been removed over the past half-decade.

    The Daily Beast logo
    A WWII Battle Frozen in Time

    Nina Strochlic

    May 14, 2014

Historical Examples of half-decade

  • Because of his constant globe-trotting, Addington's slang was often a half-decade behind the times.

    Angel Island

    Inez Haynes Gillmore

British Dictionary definitions for half-decade



a period of ten consecutive years
a group or series of ten
Derived Formsdecadal, adjective

Word Origin for decade

C15: from Old French, from Late Latin decad-, decas, from Greek dekas, from deka ten
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 half-decade



mid-15c., "ten parts" (of anything; originally in reference to the books of Livy), from Middle French décade (14c.), from Late Latin decadem (nominative decas), from Greek dekas (genitive dekados) "group of ten," from deka "ten" (see ten). Meaning "period of ten years" is 1590s in English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper