Meaning of “decade” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"decade" in British English

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decadenoun [ C ]

uk /ˈdek.eɪd/ /dekˈeɪd/ us /ˈdek.eɪd/ /dekˈeɪd/

B2 a period of ten years, especially a period such as 2010 to 2019


  • Air traffic has increased 30% in the last decade.
  • They predict that a large earthquake will strike the east coast before the end of the decade.
  • Environmental awareness has increased dramatically over the past decade.
  • Her acting career spanned almost six decades.
  • India attained independence in 1947, after decades of struggle.

Examples from literature

  • Over the next decade, jet planes got bigger and faster. 
  • The success of Strauss’s tires was made possible because of all the improvements to rubber tires that had been made during the previous decade. 

(Definition of “decade” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"decade" in American English

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decadenoun [ C ]

us /ˈdek·eɪd, deˈkeɪd/

a period of ten years:

The economy is growing at its fastest rate this decade.

Decades means a long time:

They’re enjoying new popularity after decades of neglect.

(Definition of “decade” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)