Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The cardinal number equal to 1021.
  • n. Chiefly British The cardinal number equal to 1036.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A trillion billion: 1 followed by 21 zeros, 1021.
  • n. A million quintillion: 1 followed by 36 zeros, 1036.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. According to the method of numeration (which is followed also in the United States), the number expressed by a unit with twenty-one ciphers annexed. According to the English method, a million raised to the sixth power, or the number expressed by a unit with thirty-six ciphers annexed. See numeration.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. According to English and original Italian numeration, a million raised to the sixth power; a number represented by unity with thirty-six ciphers annexed; according to French numeration, commonly taught in America, a thousand raised to the seventh power; a thousand quintillions.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the number that is represented as a one followed by 21 zeros

Etymologies

French : Latin sextus, sixth; see sextile + French -illion (as in million, million, from Old French milion; see million).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the prefix sext- (six) + -illion (from million); ie the sixth power of a million, 1036. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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