- a cardinal number represented in the U.S. by 1 followed by 9 zeros, and in Great Britain by 1 followed by 12 zeros.
- a very large number: I've told you so billions of times.
- equal in number to a billion.
Origin of billion
Examples from the Web for billion
Using standard methods, the cost of printing DNA could run upwards of a billion dollars or more, depending on the strand.Design Your Own Dinosaur: The Era of Custom DNA
January 8, 2015
And as a bonus, they send home more than $20 billion in remittances each year.Why Mexicans Are Enraged by Obama’s Big Tuesday Meeting
Ruben Navarrette Jr.
January 6, 2015
The amount of vanished bitcoins was 650,000 BTC (or 24.7 billion yen).Japanese Bitcoin Heist ‘an Inside Job,’ Not Hackers Alone
Nathalie-Kyoko Stucky, Jake Adelstein
January 1, 2015
Why else would $4 billion have been spent on the midterm election?When Will We See a #Millennial Congress?
December 26, 2014
Among other things, the bill appropriates $1.1 trillion in funding—including over $550 billion for the Department of Defense.Merry Christmas, Defense Contractors!
Veronique de Rugy
December 22, 2014
A billion dollars and immunity to cut off the outer dome of force.Invasion
William Fitzgerald Jenkins
“About a billion dollars, I guess,” he answered, after mature consideration.Hidden Water
A billion billion morsels of wet mud were no more imposing than one.Dreamers of the Ghetto
Minutes ago, Tanith had been six and a half billion miles away.Space Viking
Henry Beam Piper
These mines may yield gold to the amount of a billion dollars.Checking the Waste
Mary Huston Gregory
- one thousand million: it is written as 1 000 000 000 or 10 9
- (formerly, in Britain) one million million: it is written as 1 000 000 000 000 or 10 12
- (often plural) any exceptionally large number
- (preceded by a or a cardinal number)
- amounting to a billionit seems like a billion years ago
- (as pronoun)we have a billion here
Word Origin and History for billion
1680s, from French billion (originally byllion in Chuquet's unpublished "Le Triparty en la Science des Nombres," 1484; copied by De la Roche, 1520), from bi- "two" (see bi-) + (m)illion. A million million in Britain and Germany (numeration by groups of sixes), which was the original sense; subsequently altered in French 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" [David E. Smith, "History of Mathematics," 1925]. France then reverted to the original meaning in 1948. British usage is truer to the etymology, but U.S. sense is said to be increasingly common there in technical writing.