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

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Synonyms for iota


beans, bubkes (also bupkes), continental, damn, darn (also durn), diddly [slang], diddly-squat [slang], doodley-squat (or doodly-squat), fig, ghost, hoot, jot, lick, modicum, rap, squat [slang], syllable, tittle, whit, whoop

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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

And at Georgetown, which seems to hit a new record-low acceptance rate each year, every iota of information could help. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "The Fine Line Campus Tour Guides Walk—Backwards," 29 Aug. 2019 For a guy with a job that almost no one on the planet has, Denny is shockingly dull, and Ventimiglia fails to vest him with even an iota of personality. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "The Art of Racing in the Rain," 8 Aug. 2019 There isn’t an iota of doubt that vaccines are a safe and effective way to prevent many diseases. The Scientific American Staff, Scientific American, "The U.S. Needs To Tighten Vaccination Mandates," 24 June 2019 Meanwhile the environment hasn’t been helped one iota. WSJ, "Well-Sited Wind Towers Make Good Sense," 11 Feb. 2019 Not a single Republican member of Congress has expressed the slightest iota of interest in hearing from Trump’s accusers, looking into their accusations in any way, or otherwise seeking to find the truth of the matter. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Just look at Bill Shine and Donald Trump.," 24 Sep. 2018 Not that these carbon taxes would make an iota of a difference according to the IPCC’s models. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The U.N.’s Doomsday Climate Clock," 15 Oct. 2018 And the party is fun and relaxing—beer is for sale, and there are card games and live music—but, honestly, the power of Ii-Epstein's fine play wouldn't be diminished one iota if the party were cut. Jack Helbig, Chicago Reader, "Not One Batu feels torn directly from life," 5 July 2018 Once installed, a child seat impinges on only the last iota of front-seat travel for taller drivers. Alexander Stoklosa, Car and Driver, "2018 Honda Fit," 19 Jan. 2018

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.

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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

iota subscript


Statistics for iota

Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for iota

The first known use of iota was in 1542

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More Definitions for iota



English Language Learners Definition of iota

: a very small amount


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

Kids Definition of iota

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on iota

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with iota

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for iota

Spanish Central: Translation of iota

Nglish: Translation of iota for Spanish Speakers

Comments on iota

What made you want to look up iota? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread over or through

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