[ kee-loh, kil-oh ]
/ ˈki loʊ, ˈkɪl oʊ /

noun, plural ki·los.

(a word used in communications to represent the letter K.)

Nearby words

  1. kiln,
  2. kiln run brick,
  3. kiln-dried,
  4. kiln-dry,
  5. kilner jar,
  6. kilo-,
  7. kilobar,
  8. kilobit,
  9. kilobyte,
  10. kilocalorie

Origin of kilo

First recorded in 1865–70; shortened form


a Greek combining form meaning “thousand,” introduced from French in the nomenclature of the metric system (kiloliter); on this model, used in the formation of compound words in other scientific measurements (kilowatt).

Origin of kilo-

< French, representing Greek chī́lioi a thousand Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for kilo

British Dictionary definitions for kilo


/ (ˈkiːləʊ) /

noun plural kilos

short for kilogram, kilometre


communications a code word for the letter k



denoting 10³ (1000)kilometre Symbol: k
(in computer technology) denoting 2 10 (1024): kilobyte: in computer usage, kilo- is restricted to sizes of storage (e.g. kilobit) when it means 1024; in other computer contexts it retains its usual meaning of 1000

Word Origin for kilo-

from French, from Greek khilioi thousand

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for kilo
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for kilo



One thousand (103):kilogram.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for kilo


A prefix that means:
One thousand, as in kilowatt, one thousand watts.
210 (that is, 1,024), which is the power of 2 closest to 1,000, as in kilobyte.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.