billion /ˈbɪljən/


I. cardinal number

1. the number equivalent to the product of a thousand and a million; 1,000,000,000 or 109

a world population of nearly 5 billion
half a billion dollars.
2. ( billions)
‹informal› a very large number or amount of something

our immune systems are killing billions of germs right now.
3. a billion pounds or dollars

the problem persists despite the billions spent on it.
(Brit.) a million million (1,000,000,000,000 or 1012).
II. derivatives

billionth /ˈbɪlɪənθ /
ordinal number

– origin late 17th cent.: from French, from million, by substitution of the prefix bi- ‘two’ for the initial letters.

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