billionth

billion

[bil-yuhn]
noun, plural billions (as after a numeral) billion.
1.
a cardinal number represented in the U.S. by 1 followed by 9 zeros, and in Great Britain by 1 followed by 12 zeros.
2.
a very large number: I've told you so billions of times.
adjective
3.
equal in number to a billion.

Origin:
1680–90; < French, equivalent to b(i)- bi-1 + -illion, as in million

billionth, adjective, noun
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World English Dictionary
billion (ˈbɪljən)
 
n , pl -lions, -lion
1.  one thousand million: it is written as 1 000 000 000 or 109
2.  (formerly, in Britain) one million million: it is written as 1 000 000 000 000 or 1012
3.  (often plural) any exceptionally large number
 
determiner
4.  (preceded by a or a cardinal number)
 a.  amounting to a billion: it seems like a billion years ago
 b.  (as pronoun): we have a billion here
 
[C17: from French, from bi-1 + -llion as in million]
 
'billionth
 
adj, —n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

billion
1680s, from Fr. billion (originally byllion in Chuquet's unpublished "Le Triparty en la Science des Nombres", 1484; copied by De la Roche, 1520), from bi- "two" + (m)illion. A million million in Britain and Germany (numeration by groups of sixes), which was the original sense; subsequently altered in
Fr. to "a thousand million" (numeration by groups of threes) and picked up in that form in U.S., "due in part to French influence after the Revolutionary War." France then reverted to the original meaning in 1948. British usage is truer to the etymology, but U.S. sense is increasingly common there in technical writing.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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