# metric system

[ me-trik- sis-tuhm ]

## noun

1. a decimal system of weights and measures, based on the meter (39.37 inches) for length and the gram (15.432 grains) for mass or weight, first adopted in France in the 17th century, now universally used in science, and officially used for all purposes in most countries. Derived units are the liter (0.908 U.S. dry quart, or 1.0567 U.S. liquid quart) for capacity, being the volume of 1,000 grams of water under specified conditions; the are (119.6 square yards) for area, being the area of a square 10 meters on a side; and the stere (35.315 cubic feet) for volume, being the volume of a cube 1 meter on a side, the term “stere,” however, usually being used only in measuring firewood. Names for units larger and smaller than these are formed from the above names by the use of the following prefixes: kilo-, 1,000; hecto-, 100; deka-, 10; deci-, 0.1; centi-, 0.01; milli-, 0.001. To these are often added: tera-, one trillion; giga-, one billion; mega-, one million. With the addition of basic physical units it is now officially known by the French name Le Système International d'Unités (abbreviation SI ) or in English as the International System of Units.

metric system

## noun

1. any decimal system of units based on the metre. For scientific purposes the Système International d'Unités (SI units) is used
“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

metric system

1. A decimal system of weights and measures based on the meter as a unit of length, the kilogram as a unit of mass, and the liter as a unit of volume.
2. Compare US Customary SystemSee Table at measurement

metric system

1. A system of measurement in which the basic units are the meter , the second, and the kilogram . In this system, the ratios between units of measurement are multiples of ten. For example, a kilogram is a thousand grams , and a centimeter is one-hundredth of a meter . Virtually all countries of the world, except the United States, use the metric system. Among scientists, the metric system is called SI — an abbreviation for Système internationale , which is French for “International System.”

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## Word History and Origins

Origin of metric system1

First recorded in 1860–65
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## Compare Meanings

How does metric system compare to similar and commonly confused words? Explore the most common comparisons:

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## Example Sentences

Passing the keyword through a difficulty metric system would probably indicate it’s a hard endeavor, and it would be a waste of resources to compete there now.

By the mid-20th century, the metric system dominated the globe.

From Time

Its oddness was highlighted only after the world began to adopt the metric system.

From Time

“As we’ve grown as a newsroom and the breadth and depth of our reporting, sometimes that clashes with a rigid metric system,” said Rebecca Ungarino, a senior finance reporter and an organizing committee member of the Insider Union.

From Digiday

A 1921 prediction that the United States would be forced to adopt the metric system for commercial transactions is still awaiting fulfillment.

Convention of May 20, 1875, regarding the unification and improvement of the metric system.

The French themselves, as has been pointed out on more than one occasion, find the metric system too irksome, and they evade it.

So far as the Chair is informed, it would not be in order at this Conference to discuss a question of metric system.

The work also contains copious historical notices on the metric system and on the initial meridian.

It will readily be seen that with the metric system it is possible to measure accurately the thousandth part of an inch.