Definition of decade in US English:

decade

noun

  • 1A period of ten years.

    ‘he taught at the university for nearly a decade’
    • ‘He spent the next three decades pursuing a wide range of activities, both professionally and as hobbies.’
    • ‘Amid the overturned cabinets, he saw decades ' worth of patient records scattered about.’
    • ‘Life expectancy edged downward in the decades prior to the breakup of the Soviet Union.’
    • ‘Just a few of the signs: Impatient investors now hold onto stocks for only one year, on average, down from nearly two years a decade ago.’
    • ‘The birth rate increased for the third consecutive year following nearly a decade of decline.’
    • ‘The last serving member from the Battle of Long Tan is retiring from service this month after nearly four decades of military service.’
    • ‘Untangling this problem could take decades of research.’
    • ‘The software industry is just a few decades old while construction is as old as civilization itself.’
    • ‘The council decided on a plan of action at its first extraordinary meeting and emergency debate for nearly a decade last month.’
    • ‘The best model for New York is London, which has contracted out all of its bus services to the private sector every three years for nearly two decades.’
    • ‘Activists feared attacks would only harm a population already devastated by two decades of war and famine.’
    • ‘Returning to Edinburgh last year after nearly two decades living and working in London, I went through the usual phase of seeing my country in new light, as an outsider.’
    • ‘Young Adam was written almost a decade earlier.’
    • ‘His remarkable acting career spanned six decades and scores of movies.’
    • ‘The early decades of the conflict were characterised by a certain dignity and honour.’
    • ‘Awarded the CBE in 1994, Rosenthal was one of Britain's most prolific screenwriters in a career spanning more than three decades.’
    • ‘It is not just that he has turned 50; it has more to do with the fact that he has been retired from test cricket for eight years, nearly a decade.’
    • ‘This volume of published material represents work carried out over a period spanning nearly three decades.’
    • ‘The honour will also be conferred on John Shannon, who retired earlier this year after nearly four decades as chairman of York Civic Trust.’
    • ‘After more than a decade at the helm it looks as if his endeavours may at last pay off.’
    1. 1.1 A period of ten years beginning with a year ending in 0 (or, by another reckoning, 1)
      ‘the fourth decade of the nineteenth century’
      • ‘The major mobile phone companies spent billions of pounds at the beginning of the decade to secure licenses enabling them to offer 3G services in the UK.’
      • ‘Religion faced its most daunting challenges in the first two decades of the last century.’
      • ‘The urge to change the world that gnaws at normal people in their late teens and early 20's was taking shape in me around the beginning of my fourth decade.’
      • ‘Ironically, it was actually an album released at the beginning of the next decade, which perhaps best symbolises this period of change.’
      • ‘It was the early 1990s, the beginning of a decade of civil war and chaos.’
      • ‘This will become obvious by the beginning of the next decade, as the results of the 2010 census begin to rearrange the electoral map.’
      • ‘The 1990s were the decade of the development of self management plans for asthma.’
      • ‘There was, for instance, a flurry of concern during the first few decades of the nineteenth century, and another at the dawn of the twentieth.’
      • ‘Even with the decline, the state's hospitals employed more people at the end of the 1990s than at the beginning of the decade.’
      • ‘By the end of the 1990s, 52 countries wound up poorer than at the beginning of the decade, according to the report.’
      • ‘The nineties were also a decade of promising new beginnings as new seminaries and schools of theology opened.’
      • ‘The 1970s represented the beginning of three remarkable decades of expansion in the TSI.’
      • ‘But this is really just to frame the fact that today's the day; the ending of the past decade and the beginning of the next.’
      • ‘During the first two decades of the nineteenth century control of the Cape Colony passed to and fro between Afrikaners and British authorities but rested with the latter.’
      • ‘The start of a new decade, century and millennium, the Year 2000 naturally created some collective uneasiness.’
      • ‘‘The Sixties did not start, miraculously, with the beginning of the new decade,’ she says.’
      • ‘Due to falling world silver prices during the last decades of the nineteenth century, the silver rupee was depreciated.’
      • ‘Germany had become by far Italy's most important trade partner during the two last decades of the nineteenth century.’
      • ‘Strike activity remained at relatively high levels during the first two decades of the twentieth century.’
      • ‘Throughout the last decades of the eighteenth century and the first decades of the nineteenth, scarcely a year passed without violent protest or armed rebellion.’
      age, time, period, era, epoch, century, year, stage
      View synonyms
  • 2Each of the five divisions of each chapter of the rosary.

    • ‘Then maybe a small group would join hands in a circle in prayer and somebody would begin a decade of the rosary.’
    • ‘Pilgrims returning from the monastery at Mount Melleray have been known to stop and say a decade of the rosary for the departed.’
    • ‘Prayers at the graveside were recited by Fr. Cooney, who also led the large congregation in a decade of the Rosary.’
    • ‘Neighbours and friends who visited Pamela's home yesterday recited prayers and a decade of the rosary in a bid to quieten the restless spirit.’
    • ‘For me this has ranged from two Hail Mary prayers right up to five decades of the rosary (which takes me about fifteen to twenty minutes).’

Usage

Note that when decade means ‘a division of the rosary,’ the pronunciation is distinct: the stress is on dec-, but the second syllable sounds like id, not ade

Origin

Late Middle English (denoting each of ten parts of a literary work): via Old French and late Latin from Greek deka ‘ten’. decade (sense 1) dates from the early 17th century.

Pronunciation

decade

/ˈdekād//ˈdɛkeɪd/