billion was our Word of the Day on 03/23/2011. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of billion in a Sentence
We could see a billion stars in the sky.
Recent Examples of billion from the Web
The longstanding trade in antiquities of dubious provenance has become an especially sensitive topic in recent years, and a target of increased law-enforcement scrutiny: ISIS has made some untold millions—or billions—by selling ancient goods.
The change means that across the web, billions of images -- Photobucket claims to host more than 10 billion in all -- have suddenly disappeared from a huge number of websites, replaced by a message urging the user to take action.
The Space Corps plan is part of a budget package that will deliver nearly $700 billion in funding to the military, billions more than requested by the Trump administration.
In December, the United States Justice Department sued the bank, accusing it of fraudulently misleading the public in the sale of tens of billions of dollars in securities backed by home mortgages.
Events such as Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy killed thousands of people and generated billions of dollars in losses.
Government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid pay billions each year for medications made by pharmaceutical companies like Allergan.
When combined with heavy trucks from out of state, these over-sized vehicles travel billions of miles on Wisconsin roads each year.
Today, technological advances allow scientists to read billions of letters from the genomes of ancient humans and other organisms, transforming our view of history and evolution.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'billion'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
How much is a billion? It might depend who you ask. Billion was borrowed from French in the late 1600s to indicate the number one million raised to the power of two, or a million million - a number represented by a one followed by 12 zeros. However, the French later changed their naming conventions so that a billion became a thousand million (a one followed by nine zeros) and a trillion became a thousand thousand million (or a million million, the old billion). The French have since returned to the older system, but it was this new system that was adopted by American English speakers in the 1800s. In Britain the newer system has seen increasing use since the 1950s, but the older sense is still sometimes used there as well.
Origin and Etymology of billion
French, from bi- + -illion (as in million)
First Known Use: 1690See Words from the same year
BILLION Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of billion for English Language Learners
: the number 1,000,000,000 : one thousand million
: a very large amount or number
: the number 1,000,000,000,000
BILLION Defined for Kids
Definition of billion for Students
1 : a thousand millions
2 : a very large number billions of stars
Seen and Heard
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