I'm looking for the universally-accepted abbreviation in French for the words "million" (10^6), "milliard" (10^9), and "billion" (10^12).

Note here that in English, the order is: Million (10^6), Billion (10^9) and Trillion (10^12) while in French, I've found that it is Million, Milliard and Billion to represent the same values. For example, the abbreviations in English would be "M", "B" and "T" respectively.

Any idea what it is in French? I've looked all over but can't find a reliable source. For example, "Mrd" for milliard? What about for "billion" (the French "billion" here, not the English one)?

1 Answer 1


There is no universally-accepted abbreviation for million or milliard. Neither the Trésor de la langue française nor the Petit Robert mentions one. The Québec Banque de dépannage linguistique does not mention any abbreviation in its article million et milliard, although it does give an example (but no rule) where “M$” is to be read “million(s) de dollars” in its general article about numbers.

You may occasionally find M for million and Md or Mrd or mrd for milliard, but those are rare, a lot rarer than M and even B in English. M more commonly stands for the SI prefix mega, which fortunately is the same number.

Billion is basically never used, even unabbreviated. France's debt is written as “2200 milliards d'euros”, not “2,2 billions d'euros”.

Scientific publications obviously use SI prefixes in front of units. These prefixes are occasionally used to abbreviate amounts of money, but that's far more common in English-influenced business documents than in the general press.

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