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The conversion of a system of counting or reckoning into a system based on the number ten, this being universally recognized as the easiest figure for multiplication or division. The system is best known as the metric system. It was adopted by the greater part of the Western world in the time of Napoleon Bonaparte, whose legal and administrative systems were as simple and effective as any since Roman times. The metric system has prevailed in Western Europe since that time and also, monetarily, in the United States. and also, monetarily, in the United States. The United Kingdom accepted it in 1971 when decimal currency was introduced – other Commonwealth countries had already switched to decimalization for currency. It is intended that conversion to the metric system for weights and measures, etc., will follow in the near future and a Commission has been established for this purpose in the United Kingdom. At present both metric and imperial systems are being used side by side.

Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.