Definitions

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

  • One billion (109): gigahertz.
  • 1,073,741,824 (230): gigabyte.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • In the International System of Units and other metric systems of units, multiplying the unit to which it is attached by 109. Symbol: G
  • Multiplying the unit to which it is attached by 230 or 1,073,741,824

Etymologies

From Greek gigās, giant.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek γίγας (gigas, "giant"); cognate to giant. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Connolly wrote to the collaboration members that the database at the Space Telescope Science Institute was only 100 gigabytes—“giga-” means “billion”—and a search took five hours.

    A Grand and Bold Thing

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

    Essential Guide to Business Style and Usage

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