iota

noun

io·​ta ī-ˈō-tə How to pronounce iota (audio)
 in sense 2 sometimes  ē-ˈō-tə
1
: an infinitesimal amount : jot
did not show an iota of interest
2
: the 9th letter of the Greek alphabet see Alphabet Table

Did you know?

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 Anticipation for the coming season and TV ratings won’t dip an iota over consternation about NIL and the portal enabling the rich to get richer and assuring the haves have even more. Greg Cote, Miami Herald, 22 Feb. 2024 The public demand for a reunion hadn't waned one iota since the nineties and now, thanks to one of the band's hits going viral, decades after its release, the demand was suddenly more relevant than ever. Jessica Leon, EW.com, 28 Sep. 2023 And to make matters worse, some of us go and put ourselves on regimens that forbid anything offering an iota of pleasure. Odette Williams, WSJ, 3 Jan. 2024 One month later, not one iota of U.S. policy has changed. Gabriel Scheinmann, National Review, 8 Nov. 2023 Yes, Orwell was flawed and committed many immoralities in his life, but that does not take away the genius of his work one iota. Amity Shlaes, National Review, 8 Dec. 2023 Even students without a single iota of mechanical sympathy couldn't damage this thing. Tim Stevens, Ars Technica, 31 Oct. 2023 Sorry, Supes fans, but the time travel here doesn’t make the tiniest iota of sense. Jennifer Ouellette and Sean M. Carroll, Ars Technica, 24 Nov. 2023 The lack of response has not deterred him one iota. Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times, 4 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'iota.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1542, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of iota was in 1542

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Dictionary Entries Near iota

Cite this Entry

“Iota.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/iota. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

iota

noun
io·​ta ī-ˈōt-ə How to pronounce iota (audio)
1
: the ninth letter of the Greek alphabet
Ι or ι
2
: a tiny amount : jot
didn't show an iota of interest

More from Merriam-Webster on iota

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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