nano·​me·​ter ˈna-nə-ˌmē-tər How to pronounce nanometer (audio)
: one billionth of a meter

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The microscope works by bringing an extremely fine needle within a nanometer of a sample and then monitoring changes in the current of electrons traveling back and forth. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 24 Mar. 2017 Using a cryo-electron microscope, researchers created a highly detailed 3-D image of the nanometer-sized virus. Discover Magazine, 23 Feb. 2018 By non-ablatively targeting the oil glands under the skin using a 1726 nanometer wavelength laser, Dr. Hartman explains, the device prevents future breakouts and acne scarring without damaging the skin. Jessica Ourisman, Allure, 2 Feb. 2023 Whether dashing off his latest journalistic dispatch or drinking himself to within a nanometer of liver collapse, Roth, one suspects, was only ever happy when surrounded by waiters, bartenders, porters, maids and concierges. Morten Hoi Jensen, Washington Post, 5 Jan. 2023 Read this slowly: A nanometer is a millionth of a millimeter. Jeff Sommer, New York Times, 9 Sep. 2022 The storage density of this 100 square-nanometer system is 500 times more compact than the most advanced commercial hard disk. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, 19 Dec. 2016 That’s because the spores store water in very small, nanometer-scale spaces, so evaporation causes major pressure changes within those tiny spaces. K. N. Smith, Discover Magazine, 16 June 2015 That's a tenth smaller, the level of atoms, than the nano scale, which is one nanometer to roughly 500 nanometers. Josh Fischman, Scientific American, 15 Oct. 2014 See More

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

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

1963, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nanometer was in 1963

Dictionary Entries Near nanometer

Cite this Entry

“Nanometer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: one billionth of a meter

Medical Definition


variants or chiefly British nanometre
: one billionth of a meter
abbreviation nm

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