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See also: DEX, Dex, and dex-


Each object pictured here is roughly one dex longer (or wider) than the one preceding it.

Etymology 1[edit]

Contraction of decimal exponent.


dex (plural dexes)

  1. (physics and astrophysics) An order or factor of ten.
    • 2004, Cartledge et al 2004, The Homogeneity of Interstellar Oxygen in the Galactic Disk, Abstract, The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 613, Issue 2, pp. 1037-1048,
      The data points for low-<nH> paths are scattered more widely than those for denser sight lines, because O/H ratios for such paths shorter than 800 pc are generally about 0.10 dex lower than the values for longer ones.
Usage notes[edit]

Used both to refer to the function and the number of (possibly fractional) orders of magnitude separating two numbers. and , so the ratio of 8 to 5 is about 0.20 dex.

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

By shortening.


dex (uncountable)

  1. (role-playing games) Dexterity.
    • 2000, Billy Shields, “The truth about offhand procs”, in (Usenet):
      Establish a proccing percentage of a weapon by putting it in the primary hand and then put it in your offhand and check the proccing percentage with varying levels of dual wield skill (while keeping level and dex constant).

Etymology 3[edit]

Shortening of various drug names.


dex (uncountable)

  1. (colloquial) Dextromethorphan.
  2. (medicine, colloquial) Dexamethasone.
  3. (colloquial) Dextroamphetamine/dexedrine.
    • 1984, William Gibson, Neuromancer (Sprawl; book 1), New York, N.Y.: Ace Books, →ISBN, page 7:
      Two blocks west of the Chat, in a teashop called the Jarre de Thé, Case washed down the night's first pill with a double espresso. It was a flat pink octagon, a potent species of Brazilian dex he bought from one of Zone's girls.



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