One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A thousand raised to the seventh power (10²¹)
- ‘The figure - 7 followed by 22 zeros or, more accurately, 70 sextillion - was calculated by a team of stargazers based at the Australian National University.’
- ‘Translated into arithmetical terms, the result is 79 octillion, 228 septillion, 162 sextillion, 514 quintillion, 270 quadrillion with 15 zeros attached; that is 79, 228, 162, 270,000,000,000,000,000.’
- ‘In the last decades of the 20c, however, the North American use has become universal, providing the set million, billion, trillion, quadrillion, quintillion, sextillion, septillion, octillion, nonillion, decillion.’
- ‘And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels.’
- ‘A further challenge is the humbling fact that the original cloud is billions of times wider and a hundred sextillion (100 x [10.sup.21]) times less dense than the star the models are trying to simulate.’
- 1.1British dated A million raised to the sixth power (10³⁶)
Late 17th century: from French, from million, by substitution of the prefix sexti- ‘six’ (from Latin sextus ‘sixth’) for the initial letters.
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