9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[mil-yuh n] /ˈmɪl yən/
noun, plural millions (as after a numeral) million.
a cardinal number, a thousand times one thousand.
a symbol for this number, as 1,000,000 or M̅.
millions, a number between 1,000,000 and 999,999,999, as in referring to an amount of money:
His fortune was in the millions of dollars.
the amount of a thousand thousand units of money, as pounds, dollars, or francs:
The three Dutch paintings fetched a million.
a very great number of times:
Thanks a million.
the million(s) the mass of the common people; the multitude:
poetry for the millions.
amounting to one million in number.
amounting to a very great number:
a million things to do.
Origin of million
1350-1400; Middle English milioun < Middle French < early Italian millione, equivalent to mille thousand (< Latin) + -one augmentative suffix
Related forms
multimillion, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for millions
  • Spotted knapweed is driving out native plants and destroying rangeland, costing ranchers millions.
  • Large vultures, vitally necessary and once numbering in the tens of millions, now face extinction.
  • Tim said something about hominids seeing this moon rising over water here for millions of years.
  • The pesticide, which killed insects that spread typhus and malaria, was almost certainly instrumental in saving millions of lives.
  • Tens of millions of acres produce the grains that feed our cattle, hogs and chickens.
  • There's a reason millions of people try to solve crossword puzzles each day.
  • Over millions of years, these different bedrocks eroded into distinct terrains.
  • Acid rain destroyed fish populations in lakes and streams, harmed fragile soils and damaged millions of acres of forest worldwide.
  • Amber forms when tree resin is fossilized by high temperatures and pressure over millions of years.
  • Though there is no official betting, millions of lire change hands.
British Dictionary definitions for millions


noun (pl) -lions, -lion
the cardinal number that is the product of 1000 multiplied by 1000 See also number (sense 1)
a numeral, 1 000 000, 106, M, etc, representing this number
(often pl) (informal) an extremely large but unspecified number, quantity, or amount: I have millions of things to do
preceded by a or by a numeral
  1. amounting to a million: a million light years away
  2. (as pronoun): I can see a million under the microscope
(Austral, informal) gone a million, done for; sunk
prefix mega-
Word Origin
C17: via Old French from early Italian millione, from mille thousand, from Latin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for millions



late 14c., from Old French million (late 13c.), from Italian millione (now milione), literally "a great thousand," augmentative of mille "thousand," from Latin mille, which is of uncertain origin. Used mainly by mathematicians until 16c. India, with its love of large numbers, had names before 3c. for numbers well beyond a billion. The ancient Greeks had no name for a number greater than ten thousand, the Romans for none higher than a hundred thousand. "A million" in Latin would have been decies centena milia, literally "ten hundred thousand." Million to one as a type of "long odds" is attested from 1761. Related: Millions.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with millions
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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