Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • Large: megadose.
  • Surpassing other examples of its kind; extraordinary: megahit.
  • One million (106): megahertz.
  • 1,048,576 (220): megabyte.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • Very large, great. Denoting a size larger than usual.
  • In the International System of Units and other metric systems of units, multiplying the unit to which it is attached by one million (106.) SI Symbol: M, computing abbreviation: Mi.
  • Multiplying the unit to which it is attached by 220 (= 1,048,576, the binary round number closest to a million).
  • Multiplying the unit to which it is attached by 210 × 103 (= 1024,000, the binary round number closest to thousand).

Etymologies

Greek, from megas, great; see meg- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek μέγας (megas, "great, large, mighty"), from Proto-Indo-European *meg- (“great”). Cognate with Latin magnus, and with Germanic words: Gothic 𐌼𐌹𐌺𐌹𐌻𐍃 (mikils), Old English micel, Middle English muchel, English much, Old High German mihhil, Old Norse mikill, Danish meget. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Kilo-, mega-, giga- and tera- are prefixes used with bit or byte to measure capacities.

    Essential Guide to Business Style and Usage

  • And words which previously had sufficient power in themselves are attracting prefixes such as uber- or mega- in order to re-energise them, she adds.

    BBC News - Home

  • "In today's market, the hated segment is the mega- buyout," said Mario Giannini, chief executive officer of Hamilton Lane Advisors, a Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania-based firm that advises clients on private-equity investments.

    BusinessWeek.com -- Top News

  • How to choose between the mega-"my favorite things" two-day gift giving extravaganza an event that our lady of sumptuous philanthropy likened to the beauty of good things happening to good people and the "come-to-Jesus" estranged friends truth-and-reconciliation episodes featuring Whoopi Goldberg and former self-help protégé Iyanla Vanzant?

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • Other than SunTrust and Regions Financial, other mega- and regional banks never followed suit.

    MarketWatch.com - Top Stories

  • But do college football fans in general want mega- conferences?

    StarTribune.com rss feed

  • Gingrich continued his attacks yesterday outside a mega- church near Tampa and again at a rally that attracted more than 1,000 to The Villages, a retirement community northwest of Orlando.

    BusinessWeek.com -- Top News

  • As high-flying technology stocks crashed and the mega- mergers of the late 1990s faded away, Goldman Sachs's investment-banking revenue plunged to $2.71 billion in 2003 from $5.37 billion in 2000.

    BusinessWeek.com -- Top News

  • Throughout 2012, we will release, one part every two weeks, essentially "the best of"-a heavily annotated, 23-part mega-"presentation" titled "Excellence.

    Forbes.com: News

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