Definitions

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

  • Extremely small: nannoplankton.
  • One billionth (10-9): nanosecond.

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 10−9. Symbol: n
  • Derived from the nanotechnology industry

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A prefix meaning one-billionth.
  • Very small; submicroscopic; -- used to designate sizes smaller than those that would be referred to as micro-.

Etymologies

Greek nānos, nannos, little old man, dwarf, from nannās, uncle.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin nanus ("dwarf"), from Ancient Greek νᾶνος (nanos). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The Numbers Guy Blog Radiation Numbers in Damaged Japan Plant Becquerels, grays and sieverts all are internationally accepted units that quantify different aspects of radiation, while micro- and nano- are prefixes denoting one-millionth and one-billionth, respectively.

    Radiation Math: How Do We Count the Rays?

  • While most of the early passive LCD 3D TV announcements have been for sets that use edge LED backlights, LG's Nano technology employs a film with nano- micro- size dots across the entire LCD panel in front of a full-array LED backlight.

    LG: All 3D LCD TVs to use 'passive' technology this year; plasmas stay 'active'

  • The company was originally called Nanofluidics, but Turner had concluded the nano- prefix was no longer a mark of a quality company.

    The $1,000 Genome

  • In this microworld of the inner composition of your cells, energy and matter interface in ultrafast blips of time: nano- or picoseconds.

    Cell-Level Healing

  • CETR products can perform multitudes of operations to characterize nano-, micro- and macro-mechanical and tribological properties under harsh environmental conditions high and low temperatures and humidity, vacuum, gases, etc., and have become the de facto standard for multiple industries and basic research around the world.

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