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 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, "Avoid Ice-Related Slip and Fall Injuries," 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, "109 Ways Silicon Completely Rules Every Part of Your Life," 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, "Could We Build a Dyson Sphere?," 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, "An interstellar meteor may have slammed into Earth," 16 Apr. 2019 Xenon-124 is a radioactive isotope that takes about 1.8 sextillion years to decay, on average. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Dark Matter Scientists Observe the Rarest Event in History," 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, "How Big Are Black Holes, Really?," 16 June 2017 Inflation peaked in 2008 at a year-over-year rate of 89 sextillion (that’s 89 with 21 zeros) percent, with one U.S. dollar equaling anything from 71 billion to 2.5 quadrillion Zimbabwean dollars. Karan Mahajan, The New Republic, "After the Strongman," 26 Mar. 2018 In a single second, the authors (an international collaboration working with Brookhaven National Laboratory’s STAR detector) saw the QGP goop rotate a mind-boggling sextillion times — a billion trillions. Sylvia Morrow, Discover Magazine, "The Fastest Fluid," 1 Feb. 2018

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.

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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 20 Apr. 2021.

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