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# metric system

[ **me**-trik- sis-t*uh*m ]

## noun

- 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

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

metric system

- 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.
- Compare US Customary SystemSee Table at measurement

metric system

- 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 system^{1}

First recorded in 1860–65

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## Example Sentences

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

From Project Gutenberg

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

From Project Gutenberg

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

From Project Gutenberg

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

From Project Gutenberg

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

From Project Gutenberg

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