io·​ta | \ ī-ˈō-tə How to pronounce iota (audio) , in sense 2 sometimes ē-ˈō-tə \

Definition of iota

1 : an infinitesimal amount : jot did not show an iota of interest
2 : the 9th letter of the Greek alphabet — see Alphabet Table

Synonyms for iota


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Iota and Jot

The words iota and jot share a lot more than just a common meaning—both ultimately derive from the same word. When Latin scholars transcribed the Greek name of the ninth letter of the Greek alphabet, they spelled it as either iota or jota (the letters i and j were simply variants of each other), and these spellings eventually passed into English as iota and jot. Since the Greek letter iota is the smallest letter of its alphabet, both words eventually came to be used in reference to very small things.

Examples of iota in a Sentence

there's not an iota of doubt regarding the defendant's guilt
Recent Examples on the Web Yet, despite this extraordinary evolution, marketing, in fact has not changed by one iota. Avi Dan, Forbes, 13 Apr. 2022 None of her motivations or timetables make an iota of sense, but try not to pick things apart. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Mar. 2022 Even an outright cancelation would indicate an iota of empathy from Adele’s camp, because at some point, disappointment trumps desertion. Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 10 Feb. 2022 Lacking the spark of innovation, the premise comes across as less distinguished by gender than simply generic -- checking off boxes for the marketing department without breaking an iota of new ground. Brian Lowry, CNN, 6 Jan. 2022 These gestures merge into a building that harmonizes with a cacophony of stylistic revivals yet doesn’t give up an iota of modernist elegance. Justin Davidson, Curbed, 15 Dec. 2021 But other variants — eta, theta, iota — were quickly steamrolled and are now irrelevant. Washington Post, 14 Dec. 2021 There are two variants of interest, lambda and mu. Kappa, iota and eta are three former variants of interest now classified as variants under monitoring, and epsilon, zeta and theta are now formerly monitored variants. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, 29 Nov. 2021 Some of the victories weren’t wipe-outs, but that mattered not one iota. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 28 Nov. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'iota.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of iota

1542, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for iota

Latin, from Greek iōta, of Semitic origin; akin to Hebrew yōdh yod

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Dictionary Entries Near iota



iota adscript

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Last Updated

27 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Iota.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for iota


io·​ta | \ ī-ˈō-tə How to pronounce iota (audio) \

Kids Definition of iota

: a tiny amount I don't care an iota.

More from Merriam-Webster on iota

Nglish: Translation of iota for Spanish Speakers


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