Definitions

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

  • One quadrillion (1015): petahertz.
  • 1,125,899,906,842,624 (250): petabyte.

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 1015. Symbol: P

Etymologies

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

Alteration of penta- (from its representing the fifth power of a thousand).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Based on penta- ("five") with the middle letter removed, but the previously coined prefix tera- came from Greek teratos, which means monster.

Examples

  • LSST, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, is an 8.4-meter telescope with a 3,200 megapixel camera, 30 terabytes of data per night, and when the survey is over, the archive will hold 60 petabytes—“peta-” means “quadrillion.”

    A Grand and Bold Thing

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