[ nan-oh, ney-noh ]

  1. Informal. nanotechnology.

Origin of nano

By shortening

Other definitions for nano- (2 of 2)


  1. a combining form with the meaning “very small, minute,” used in the formation of compound words (nanoplankton); in the names of units of measure it has the specific sense “one billionth” (10-9): nanomole; nanosecond.

Origin of nano-

Combining form representing Greek nânos, nánnos dwarf
  • Also nanno-; especially before a vowel, nan-. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use nano in a sentence

  • He busied himself over his nano-cakes and nuts, and prevailed on Battle to eat by making him laugh at his antics.

    The Three Mulla-mulgars | Walter De La Mare
  • John nano, who spoke several tongues, said that he did not know it in any Indian dialect except in that of his gypsies.

    The Gypsies | Charles G. Leland
  • One last word of John nano, who was so called from two similar Indian words, meaning “the pet of his grandfather.”

    The Gypsies | Charles G. Leland
  • Saying this he handed me a piece of paper, with his name written on it: John nano.

    The Gypsies | Charles G. Leland

British Dictionary definitions for nano-


combining form
  1. denoting 10 –9: nanosecond Symbol: n

  2. indicating extreme smallness: nanoplankton

Origin of nano-

from Latin nānus dwarf, from Greek nanos

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

Scientific definitions for nano-


  1. A prefix that means:

  2. Very small or at a microscopic level, as in nanotube. In this sense, this prefix is sometimes spelled nanno-, as in nannoplankton.

  1. One billionth, as in nanosecond, one billionth of a second.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for nano-


A prefix meaning one billionth.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.