10 (ten) is an evennatural number following 9 and preceding 11. Ten is the base of the decimalnumeral system, by far the most common system of denoting numbers in both spoken and written language. It is the first double-digit number. The reason for the choice of ten is assumed to be that humans have ten fingers (digits).
Increasing a quantity by one order of magnitude is most widely understood to mean multiplying the quantity by ten.
To reduce something by one tenth is to decimate. (In ancient Rome, the killing of one in ten soldiers in a cohort was the punishment for cowardice or mutiny; or, one-tenth of the able-bodied men in a village as a form of retribution, thus causing a labor shortage and threat of starvation in agrarian societies.)
Ten is used as a theoretical highest number in topics that require a rating ("a mark out of ten"), by contrast having 0 or 1 as the lowest number, and 5 being average.
Ten is the second discrete semiprime (2 × 5) and the second member of the (2 × q) discrete semiprime family. Ten has an aliquot sum σ(n) of 8 and is accordingly the first discrete semiprime to be in deficit. All subsequent discrete semiprimes are in deficit. The aliquot sequence for 10 comprises five members (10,8,7,1,0) with this number being the second composite member of the 7-aliquot tree.
Ten is the smallest semiprime that is the sum of all the distinct prime numbers from its lower factor through its higher factor (10 = 2 + 3 + 5 = 2 . 5) Only three other small semiprimes (39, 155, and 371) share this attribute.
Ten is the sum of the first three prime numbers, of the four first positive integers (1 + 2 + 3 + 4), of the square of the two first odd numbers and also of the first four factorials (0! + 1! + 2! + 3!). Ten is the eighth Perrin number, preceded in the sequence by 5, 5, 7.
As is the case for any base in its system, ten is the first two-digit number in decimal and thus the lowest number where the position of a numeral affects its value. Any integer written in the decimal system can be multiplied by ten by adding a zero to the end (e.g. 855 × 10 = 8550).
The Roman numeral for ten is X (which looks like two Vs [the Roman numeral for 5] put together); it is thought that the V for five is derived from an open hand (five digits displayed), and X for ten from both hands. Incidentally, the Chinese word numeral for ten, is also a cross: 十.
Positional numeral systems other than decimal
The digit '1' followed by '0' is how the value of p is written in base p. (E.g. 16 in hexadecimal is 10.)
The metric system is based on the number 10, so converting units is done by adding or removing zeros (e.g. 1 centimeter = 10 millimeters, 1 decimeter = 10 centimeters, 1 meter = 100 centimeters, 1 dekameter = 10 meters, 1 kilometer = 1,000 meters).
People traditionally tithed one-tenth of their produce. The practice of tithing is still common in Christian churches today, though it is disputed in some circles as to whether or not it is required of Christians.
In Deuteronomy 26:12, the Torah commands Jews to give one-tenth of their produce to the poor (Maaser Ani). From this verse and from an earlier verse (Deut. 14:22) there derives a practice for Jews to give one-tenth of all earnings to the poor.
In Genesis 28:23-32, Abraham pleads on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah, asking to save the cities if there are enough righteous people there. He starts at 10 per city, and ends with 10 total in all cities.
Interpretations of Genesis in Talmudic and Midrashic teachings suggest that on the first day, God drew forth ten primal elements from the abyss in order to construct all of Creation: Heaven (or Fire), Earth, Chaos, Void, Light, Darkness, Wind (or Spirit), Water, Day, and Night. See also Bereshit (parsha).
Decathlon is a combined event in athletics consisting of ten track and field events.
In association football, the number 10 is traditionally worn by the team's advanced playmaker. This use has led to "Number 10" becoming a synonym for the player in that particular role, even if he or she does not wear that number.
In gridiron football, a team has a limited number of downs to advance the ball ten yards or more from where it was on its last first down; doing this is referred to as gaining another first down.