Take the following amount:

$ 12.54

I am looking for a term that describes the separation of dollars and cents. Of course there is a term that describes the character that does the job which most people would call decimal or period.

Another example:

John, Adams, Male

This is a small comma-separated list of values. In this case, a comma separates the values "John", "Adams", and "Male". The comma is also called a delimiter.

Is there a term that describes the decimal point as a separator? Is it a separator?

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    I'm not sure of the downvote. If the answer is just called decimal, then just say it. Please don't downvote without explanation. – Chad Harrison Sep 10 '12 at 14:28

In general terms, the radix point separates the integer part of a number from its fractional part. In base 10, the radix point is more commonly called the decimal point.

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    In some countries or regions they would use a "decimal comma" rather than decimal point. I wonder... in Quebec do they write $12,64 ?? Or did they not take that over from France? – GEdgar Sep 10 '12 at 17:23
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    @GEdgar This article lists countries that adopted the comma as a decimal mark. French-speaking Canada is listed as one of those, but the article doesn't mention whether it's a carryover with the French language. (The link in my answer does mention the use of the comma as separator, BTW.) – Gnawme Sep 10 '12 at 17:30

I'd call that the "decimal point" and it would apply to any number, not just currency values. In other words the "decimal point" is the separator between whole units and decimal fractions of that unit.


The widely accepted term is decimal separator.

The internationally recognized nomenclature and technical descriptions of currencies, are codified in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard ISO_4217.

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