What does billion mean?

Definitions for billion
ˈbɪl yənbil·lion

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word billion.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. billion, one million million, 1000000000000noun

    the number that is represented as a one followed by 12 zeros; in the United Kingdom the usage followed in the United States is frequently seen

  2. million, billion, trillion, zillion, jillion, gazillionnoun

    a very large indefinite number (usually hyperbole)

    "there were millions of flies"

  3. billion, one thousand million, 1000000000adjective

    the number that is represented as a one followed by 9 zeros

  4. billionadjective

    denoting a quantity consisting of one thousand million items or units in the United States

  5. billionadjective

    denoting a quantity consisting of one million million items or units in Great Britain


  1. Billion

    Billion is a word for a large number, and it has two distinct definitions: 1,000,000,000, i.e. one thousand million, or 109 (ten to the ninth power), as defined on the short scale. This is its only current meaning in English. 1,000,000,000,000, i.e. one million million, or 1012 (ten to the twelfth power), as defined on the long scale. This number, which is one thousand times larger than the short scale billion, is now referred to in English as one trillion. However, this number is the historical meaning in English for the word "billion" (with the exception of the United States), a meaning which was still in official use in British English until some time after World War II.American English adopted the short scale definition from the French (it enjoyed usage in France at the time, alongside the long-scale definition). The United Kingdom used the long scale billion until 1974, when the government officially switched to the short scale, but since the 1950s the short scale had already been increasingly used in technical writing and journalism. Other countries use the word billion (or words cognate to it) to denote either the long scale or short scale billion. (For details, see Long and short scales § Current usage.) Milliard, another term for one thousand million, is extremely rare in English, but words similar to it are very common in other European languages. For example, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Georgian, German, Hebrew (Asia), Hungarian, Italian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Lithuanian, Luxembourgish, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish (although the expression mil millones — a thousand million — is far more common), Swedish, Tajik, Turkish, Ukrainian and Uzbek — use milliard, or a related word, for the short scale billion, and billion (or a related word) for the long scale billion. Thus for these languages billion is a thousand times larger than the modern English billion.


  1. billion

    A billion is a number equivalent to one thousand million (1,000,000,000) in the US and many other countries, or one million million (1,000,000,000,000) in the UK before 1974. It's typically used in the context of finance, population and other quantities to denote a very large amount.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Billionnoun

    according to the French and American method of numeration, a thousand millions, or 1,000,000,000; according to the English method, a million millions, or 1,000,000,000,000. See Numeration

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Billion

    bil′yun, n. a million or thousand thousand of millions (1,000,000,000,000); or, according to the French method of numeration, one thousand millions (1,000,000,000). [L. bi-, twice, and Million.]

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Billion is ranked #134712 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Billion surname appeared 125 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Billion.

    81.6% or 102 total occurrences were White.
    8% or 10 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    7.2% or 9 total occurrences were Black.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'billion' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2140

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'billion' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3868

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'billion' in Nouns Frequency: #913

How to pronounce billion?

How to say billion in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of billion in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of billion in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of billion in a Sentence

  1. Steve Bowen:

    Steve Bowen, director and meteorologist at Aons impact forecasting team, said in a news release. WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS OF 2019 : HERE ARE THE BIGGEST MOMENTS, FROM POLAR VORTEX TO HURRICANE DORIAN The area that was worst hit in the last decade was the Asia-Pacific region, which accounted for 44 percent of the total amount of economic losses, according to the report. In 2019 one of the greatest disasters was when Typhoon Hagibis struck Japan in October, causing 99 deaths and $ 15 billion in economic losses. ( National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Satellites - Public Affairs) In 2019, one of the greatest disasters was when Typhoon Hagibis struck Japan in October, causing 99 deaths and $ 15 billion in economic losses. In its report, Aon said intense weather events, bigger populations in the path of disasters and greater supply chain disruption in a globalized economy contributed to the sharp rise in overall economic damage. The runway at Offutt Air Force Base can be seen covered by floodwaters from the Missouri River during flooding in 2019. ( 55th Wing Commander/Facebook) The costliest individual disaster in 2019 was inland flooding, which created losses of $ 82 billion, while tropical cyclones caused economic losses globally around $ 68 billion. In the U.S., floodingspawned by the bomb cyclonein the Midwest caused economic losses of over $ 20 billion, the report noted. 10 DEADLIEST US TORNADOES ON RECORD According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2019 was the second-hottest year in the agencys 140-year climate record, just behind 2016. The agency also noted that the worlds five warmest years have all occurred since 2015, with nine of the 10 warmest years occurring since 2005. Scientific research indicates that climate change will continue to affect all types of weather phenomena and subsequently impact increasingly urbanized areas.

  2. Tidjane Thiam:

    Today, we are announcing an increase to our 2018 cost reduction target from 3.5 billion Swiss francs gross savings to at least 4.3 billion francs, driving our absolute operating cost base below 18 billion francs by 2018. For 2016, we aim to achieve 1.7 billion francs in cost savings.

  3. Travis Walton:

    The truth, of course, is that a billion falsehoods told a billion times by a billion people are still false.

  4. Senator Everett Dirksen:

    A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money.

  5. Senator Everett Dirksen:

    A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for billion

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for billion »


Find a translation for the billion definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"billion." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/billion>.

Discuss these billion definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for billion? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    a confused multitude of things
    • A. muddle
    • B. crate
    • C. breastwork
    • D. recital

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for billion: