noun, often attributive
sex·​til·​lion | \ seks-ˈtil-yən How to pronounce sextillion (audio) \

Definition of sextillion

US : a number equal to 1 followed by 21 zeros — see Table of Numbers also, British : a number equal to 1 followed by 36 zeros — see Table of Numbers

Examples of sextillion in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Less than one in about 600 sextillion, in fact, Cronin says. Natalie Elliot, Scientific American, 23 Nov. 2021 This endless search for information is costing businesses productivity, and this challenge is only growing due to skyrocketing data volumes — 59 sextillion bytes in 2020 alone. Marc Vontobel, Forbes, 1 Nov. 2021 The team found that upper ocean waters contained 234 sextillion, or 1021, joules more heat energy in 2020 than the annual average from 1981 to 2010. Todd Nelson, Star Tribune, 16 Jan. 2021 Intel and Micron emerged, and since then, humans have made more MOSFETs than any other artifact in our species’ history—over 13 sextillion, or 13 followed by 21 zeroes. David Lumb, Popular Mechanics, 9 Dec. 2020 About half of Mercury's mass—2 sextillion pounds or so—would be usable in the form of the elements oxygen and iron, Armstrong reckons. Adam Hadhazy, Popular Mechanics, 30 Oct. 2020 But, Loeb says, such objects are probably numerous, with perhaps 60 sextillion similarly sized rocks launched outward by a single star. Nadia Drake, National Geographic, 16 Apr. 2019 Xenon-124 is a radioactive isotope that takes about 1.8 sextillion years to decay, on average. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, 27 Apr. 2019 If you were compressed into a black hole, for instance, the result would be 1 sextillion times smaller than a grain of sand. Sophie Weiner, Popular Mechanics, 16 June 2017 See More

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

First Known Use of sextillion

1690, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sextillion

French, irregular from sex- (from Latin sex) + -illion (as in million)

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Time Traveler for sextillion

Time Traveler

The first known use of sextillion was in 1690

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Cite this Entry

“Sextillion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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