• synonyms


  1. a unit of length equal to 0.001 of an inch (0.0254 mm), used in measuring the diameter of wires.
  2. a military unit of angular measurement equal to the angle subtended by 1/6400 of a circumference.
  3. (less accurately) the angle subtended by an arc equal to 1/1000 (0.001) of the radius or distance.
  4. (used formerly in pharmaceutical prescriptions) a milliliter.
  5. a former bronze coin of the mandate of Palestine, the 1/1000 part of a pound.
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Origin of mil1

1715–25; short for Latin millēsimus thousandth, equivalent to mill(e) thousand (see mile) + -ēsimus ordinal suffix


  1. Slang. a million.
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Origin of mil2

by shortening
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mils

Historical Examples

  • Four mils would be too little, and five mils would be too much.

    A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume II (of II)

    Augustus de Morgan

  • We put them throug, we hav to carry them 19 mils and cum back the sam night wich maks 38 mils.

  • Let the members be assured that nine half-pence will be, for every practical purpose, 18 mils.

  • Just as it left the town, however, it was cheered and assisted by a guide-board, upon which was the legend "10 Mils to Hawkeye."

    The Gilded Age, Complete

    Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner

  • And against the first target the accuracy observed was about .7 mils, in standard deviation.

    Warren Commission (3 of 26): Hearings Vol. III (of 15)

    The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

British Dictionary definitions for mils


  1. a unit of length equal to one thousandth of an inch
  2. an obsolete pharmaceutical unit of volume equal to one millilitre
  3. a unit of angular measure, used in gunnery, equal to one sixty-four-hundredth of a circumference
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Word Origin

C18: short for Latin millēsimus thousandth


the internet domain name for
  1. a US military department
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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 mils



1721, in per mil "per thousand," from Latin mille "thousand" (see million); cf. percent. As a unit of length for diameter of wire, it is attested from 1891; as a unit of angular measure it is first recorded 1907.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mils in Science


  1. A unit of length in the US Customary System equal to 11000 of an inch (0.03 millimeter), used chiefly to measure the diameter of wires.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.