One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A tenth part; specifically a tax of one tenth, a tithe. Now historical (chiefly with reference to Italy).
2In Spanish poetry: a stanza or verse of ten lines, usually performed as a song.
3An organ-stop sounding a tenth above the normal or 8-feet pitch; also called double-tierce or great-tierce.
Middle English; earliest use found in Genesis and Exodus. From classical Latin decima tenth part, offering of a tithe made to a god, tax or right to collect a tax of ten per cent on the produce of land, in post-classical Latin also (in the Old Testament) tithe (Vulgate), tithe paid to the Christian Church, (in music) interval of a tenth, use as noun (short for decima pars tenth part) of feminine of decimus tenth.
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