Centimeters Conversion

Centimeters

Abbreviation/Symbol:

  • cm

Unit of:

  • Length / distance

Worldwide use:

The centimetre is used worldwide as a measurement of length. There are a few exceptions, most notably the United States, which still primarily uses the U.S. Customary (similar to imperial) system.

Definition:

The centimetre is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one-hundredth of a metre.

1cm is equivalent to 0.39370 inches.

Origin:

The metric, or decimal, system of weights and measures was defined and adopted in France in 1795. Using the metre as the basis for length measurements, the system is now used officially across the globe.

Common references:

  • A United States nickel (5 cent) coin is approximately 2cm diameter.
  • The cornea of a human eye is approximately 1.15cm (11.5mm) diameter.
  • One imperial foot is equal to approximately 30.5cm.

Usage context:

The centimetre is used as a day to day unit of measurement in countries that have adopted the International (SI) System of Units, in situations and applications where fractions of a centimetre are generally deemed unimportant to state.

Applications that require greater accuracy, such as engineering and design, will generally state distances using either millimetres or decimal fractions of a metre.

Component units:

Multiples:

  • 100cm = 1m (metre)
  • Units of length/distance in the metric scale are based on fractions or multiples of one metre.

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