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trillion

[tril-yuh n]
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noun, plural tril·lions, (as after a numeral) tril·lion.
  1. a cardinal number represented in the U.S. by 1 followed by 12 zeros, and in Great Britain by 1 followed by 18 zeros.
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adjective
  1. amounting to one trillion in number.
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Origin of trillion

1680–90; < French, equivalent to tr(i)- tri- + (m)illion million
Related formstril·lionth, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for trillion

trillion

noun
  1. the number represented as one followed by twelve zeros (10 12); a million million
  2. (formerly, in Britain) the number represented as one followed by eighteen zeros (10 18); a million million million
  3. (often plural) an exceptionally large but unspecified number
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determiner
  1. (preceded by a or a numeral)
    1. amounting to a trilliona trillion stars
    2. (as pronoun)there are three trillion
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Derived Formstrillionth, 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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper