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Etymology 1[edit]

From the practice in US colleges of numbering courses, the initial (introductory) course normally being numbered "101"


101 (not comparable)

  1. (chiefly US, postpositive) Basic, beginner, starting from scratch.
    Geology 101 tells us that you can't build a reservoir on sandstone.
    • 2004, Daniel Dor, From Englishization to Imposed Multilingualism: Globalization, the Internet, and the Political Economy of the Linguistic Code (in Public Culture volume 16 issue 1)
      Companies sell directories, databases, reports, translation services, automatic translation software, and guidebooks for doing business away from home, which, in some cases, look much like simplified textbooks for Anthropology 101.

Etymology 2[edit]

Symbolizing more than 100, an already large number.


  • There is a difference in pronunciation depending on the person. Many people still use "one hundred and one", which also applies to almost all numbers after 101. However, it is becoming common to hear the "and" omitted, simply "one hundred one".



  1. An arbitrary large number. Used especially in book titles.
    • 2009, Samela Harris and Brenda Maxwell, On a Shoestring, Recipes from the House of the Raising Sons, Wakefield Press, ISBN 1862548560, illustrated, revised, page vii:
      Instead of 101 ways to stuff a poussin, surely the readers needed 101 ways to embellish two-minute ramen noodles.