nonillion

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See also: Nonillion

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

non- (nine) +‎ -illion

Pronunciation[edit]

Numeral[edit]

nonillion

  1. (US, modern British & Australian, short scale) 1030.
    • 1922 August, S. E. Chapman, "Potentiality of the Infinitesimals", The Pacific coast journal of homœpathy, volume 33, number 8, page 244:
      As we have seen that one nought goes to each potency, for the thirtieth potency we will have for the denominator one followed by thirty noughts; or the original drop of drug in one nonillion drops of alcohol!
    • 2001, Raymond E. Fowler, The Melchizedek Connection (ISBN 0595183565), [books.google.co.uk/books?id=rVbXhvS6C1oC&pg=PA70#v=onepage&f=true page 70]:
      Do ya not be knowin' that there are 10 nonillion atoms within the likes of us?
    • '2011, Desmond Walls Allen, Family History Detective: A step-by-step guide to investigating your family tree (Family Tree Books, ISBN 1440316910), page 9:
      The figure is 1,267,700,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. In layperson's terms, that's a little over 1.2 nonillion ancestors in the 100th generation.
    • 2012, Jim Berge, Prayer, Quantum Physics and Hotel Mattresses: Dissolving the Barrier Between the Seen and Unseen (Destiny Image Publishers, ISBN 0768488656), page 44:
      Hugh: Just think of the tremendous gravity in a star like the sun. Its mass is a few nonillion pounds. / Henry: Nonillion? Are you making that up? / Hugh: No, it's just one of those things that sticks in my hyperactive brain. A nonillion is a number to the 30th power,...
    • 2012 September 21, Cecil Adams, "The Straight Dope" (syndicated column):
      Making certain bold assumptions, my assistant Una determined that chilling the sun’s core to below 10 million degrees would require an ice cube 562,000 miles on a side. If you were planning on using standard-sized cubes from your kitchen freezer, you’d need about 45 nonillion of them.
  2. (dated British & Australian, long scale) 1054.
    • 1819, George Gregory, A new and complete dictionary of arts and sciences: including the latest improvement and discovery and the present states of every branch of human knowledge, volume 1 (Collins and Co.), page 248:
      The first six figures from the right hand are called the unit period, the next six the million period, after which the trillion, quadrillion, quintillion, sextillion, septillion, octillion, and nonillion periods, follow in their order.
    • 1837, James Utting, "Of a conjunction of the Sun, Moon, planets, and satellites", The Mechanics Magazine, volume 26, page 381:
      There may be stars placed at a distance from us so remote, that a body moving with a volicity (sic.) of a nonillion of miles in one second of time, would occupy a nonillion of years in passing from them to our earth!! [Footnote: A nonillion is a million nine times repeated; Its value is equal to unity followed by 54 cyphers.]
    • 1886, Francis Ysidro Edgeworth , "The Calculus of Probabilities Applied to Psychical Research. II.", Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, volume 4, page 205:
      The odds against the observed event having a purely fortuitous origin are a 4trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion (a nonillion nonillion) to one — odds to describe whose vastness "number fails."
      4 As I understand, a million million is a billion, a million billion is a trillion, a million trillion is a quadrillion, and so on up to a nonillion.
    • 2009, Henry Gobus, Human Ascent (ISBN 0646513168):
      Evolution started with an astronomical population explosion in the bacterial phase of five-nonillion†.
      †Gobus defines nonillion as 1054 but has probably mistaken the meaning of nonillion in his sources concerning the number of bacteria. The true figure is 5x1030, i.e. five short nonillion (Whitman et al., 1998).

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Noun[edit]

nonillion (plural nonillions)

  1. (hyperbolic) An unspecified very large number.
    • 1922, E. E. Cummings, The Enormous Room, published 2008, page 181:
      Who are a million, a trillion, a nonillion young men? All are standing. I am standing. We are wedged in and on and over and under each other. Sardines.
    • 1995, Jay Carty, Playing The Odds: Eternity's Your Bet, page 90:
      How about a year, or a lifetime, or a really long time, like umpteen-jillion-quadtrillion-nonillion-decillion-billion years? Now that would be a long time in the fire
    • 1999, Dennis L. Soden, Brent Steel, Handbook of global environmental policy and administration, page 112:
      Without any further information it would be easy to conclude that the National Park Service could raise as much as $500 nonillion in entrance fee revenues by charging entrance fees to those other 90% of the visitors who do not now pay
    • 2002 CE: James C. Mayer, ‘Student-Led Poetry Workshops’ (which appears in ‘The English Journal’, volume 91, number 3, ‘Teaching and Writing Poetry’)
      I then looked into the zatetic forest behind it / And saw a nonillion, no, a novemdecillion of them!’.
    • 2011, Ronald Clark, The Man Who Broke Purple:
      But we have nonillion dollars invested in them at NSA. When I was active in the organization I objected strenuously but the boys then wouldn't listen to this 'old fogey'.

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