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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Sextillion \Sex*til"lion\, n. [Formed (in imitation of million) fr. L. sextus sixth, sex six: cf. F. sextilion.] According to the method of numeration (which is followed also in the United States), the number expressed by a unit with twenty-one ciphers annexed. According to the English method, a million raised to the sixth power, or the number expressed by a unit with thirty-six ciphers annexed. See Numeration.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1680s, from Latin sext-, comb. form of sex "six" (see six) + (m)illion. Compare billion. Related: Sextillionth.


num. 1 (''US; modern British & Australian,'') A trillion billion: 1 followed by 21 zeros, 1021. 2 (''dated British & Australian,'') A million quintillion: 1 followed by 36 zeros, 1036.

Sextillion (disambiguation)

Sextillion may mean either of the two numbers (see long and short scales for more detail):

  • 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (one thousand million million million; 10; SI prefix zetta-) for all short scale countries
  • 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (one million million million million million million; 10) for all long scale countries

Usage examples of "sextillion".

But you have to understand there was only about one molecule of poison per cubic yard, and since it takes ten thousand sextillion cyanogen molecules to weigh one poundthese were all known numbers well in advance of the encounterthen a little figuring would have told us that the sum total of poison gas the planet Earth was about to pass through weighed barely half an ounce.

Its capacity was most meaningfully expressed not in giga-, tera-, peta-, exa-, or even zettabytes, but in yottabytes, or sextillions of bytes.

The picture recorded in the receptor was a nuclear portrait in cross section, where sextillions of atoms performed the role of the dots in an ordinary halftone photoengraving.

Why, oy, I reckon you would have to calculate the number of grains of sand on this beach and on every star in the sky, in every one of the ten thousand great chilicosms, which would be a number of sand grains uncomputable by IBM and Burroughs too, why boy I don't rightly know" (swig of wine) "I don't rightly know but it must be a couple umpteen trillion sextillion infideled and busted up innumerable number of roses that sweet Saint Teresa and that fine little old man are now this minute showering on your head, with lilies.