1. a combining form used in the names of units of measure equal to one quadrillion (1015) of a given base unit: petabyte.

Origin of peta-

Origin uncertain

Words Nearby peta- Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use peta- in a sentence

  • The golden-hued peta was found beside the myriad-flowering oleander, while the undergrowth was braided with cacti and aloes.

  • Simon Peta was de first bishop of Rome, but de Lord had on old worn-out clothes, and was sot upon an oxen, and eat moldy bread.

    To and Through Nebraska | Frances I. Sims Fulton
  • Now two men lived at Avikwame, Hatpa-'aqwaoθtše, their father's older brother, and Nume-peta.

    Seven Mohave Myths | A. L. Kroeber
  • Then Pukehane sent for people to come for his brother who was about to die; he sent for Nume-peta at Avikwame.

    Seven Mohave Myths | A. L. Kroeber
  • A son of peta-la-sha-ra and head chief of the Chowee band; also a leader in the councils.

British Dictionary definitions for Peta (1 of 2)


abbreviation for
  1. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

British Dictionary definitions for peta- (2 of 2)


  1. denoting 10 15: petametres Symbol: P

Origin of peta-

C20: so named because it is the SI prefix after tera-; on the model of penta-, the prefix after tetra-

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 peta-


  1. A prefix that means:

  2. One quadrillion (1015), as in petahertz, one quadrillion hertz.

  1. 250 (that is, 1,125,899,906,842,624), which is the power of two closest to a quadrillion, as in petabyte.

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