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[tril-yuh n] /ˈtrɪl yən/
noun, plural trillions (as after a numeral) trillion.
a cardinal number represented in the U.S. by 1 followed by 12 zeros, and in Great Britain by 1 followed by 18 zeros.
amounting to one trillion in number.
Origin of trillion
1680-90; < French, equivalent to tr(i)- tri- + (m)illion million
Related forms
trillionth, noun, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for trillion
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Not one of these stars is within a trillion miles of any other.

    Life in a Thousand Worlds William Shuler Harris
  • Its distance is 64 trillion kilometers (391⁄2 trillion miles).

    Astronomy for Amateurs Camille Flammarion
  • We traverse a few more trillion miles in our rapid course, and it shines out like a fine star of the first magnitude.

    Astronomy for Amateurs Camille Flammarion
  • Its distance is 69 trillion kilometers (421⁄2 trillion miles).

    Astronomy for Amateurs Camille Flammarion
  • Like, a trillion years of all the computers ever invented working 24/7 won't be able to do it.

    Little Brother Cory Doctorow
British Dictionary definitions for trillion


the number represented as one followed by twelve zeros (1012); a million million
(formerly, in Britain) the number represented as one followed by eighteen zeros (1018); a million million million
(often pl) an exceptionally large but unspecified number
preceded by a or a numeral
  1. amounting to a trillion: a trillion stars
  2. (as pronoun): there are three trillion
Derived Forms
trillionth, noun, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from French, on the model of million
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 trillion

1680s, from French trillion (late 15c.), from tri- (see tri-) + (m)illion. Cf. billion. In the U.S., the fourth power of a thousand (one thousand billion, 1 followed by 12 zeroes); in Great Britain, the third power of a million (one million billion, 1 followed by 18 zeroes), which is the original sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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trillion in Technology

In Britain, France, and Germany, 10^18 or a million cubed.
In the USA and Canada, 10^12.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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