[ goo-gawl, -gol, -guh l ]
/ ˈgu gɔl, -gɒl, -gəl /


a number that is equal to 1 followed by 100 zeros and expressed as 10100.

Origin of googol

First recorded in 1935–40; introduced by U.S. mathematician Edward Kasner (1878–1955), whose nine-year-old nephew allegedly invented it
Can be confusedgoggle Google googol Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for googol


/ (ˈɡuːɡɒl, əl) /


the number represented as one followed by 100 zeros (10 100)

Word Origin for googol

C20: coined by E. Kasner (1878–1955), American mathematician
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 googol



1940, in "Mathematics and the Imagination," a layman's book on mathematics written by U.S. mathematicians Edward Kasner (1878-1955) and James R. Newman, the word supposedly coined a year or two before by Kasner's 9- (or 8-) year-old nephew (unnamed in the book's account of the event), when asked for a name for an enormous number. Perhaps influenced by comic strip character Barney Google. Googolplex coined at the same time, in the same way.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for googol


[ gōōgôl′, gōōgəl ]

The number 10 raised to the 100th power (10100), written out as 1 followed by 100 zeros.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.