cen·​ti·​me·​ter | \ ˈsen-tə-ˌmē-tər How to pronounce centimeter (audio) , ˈsän- How to pronounce centimeter (audio) \

Definition of centimeter

: a unit of length equal to ¹/₁₀₀ meter — see Metric System Table

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Did You Know?

In the metric system, which is used in most countries of the world, each basic unit of measure of length, area, or volume can be divided into centimeters. A meter consists of 100 centimeters, a square meter consists of 10,000 square centimeters, and a cubic meter consists of 1,000,000 cubic centimeters.

Examples of centimeter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The final membrane contained some 10 million BNNTs per cubic centimeter. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Rivers could generate thousands of nuclear power plants worth of energy, thanks to a new ‘blue’ membrane," 4 Dec. 2019 In the past 100 years, sea levels in San Francisco rose 20 centimeters, or roughly 8 inches, according to the Exploratorium. Anna Bauman, SFChronicle.com, "Exploratorium hosts king tide demonstration Saturday," 11 Jan. 2020 By the time it was done, the southern tip of Vancouver Island had been thrust a centimeter or so closer to the Pacific Ocean. Wired, "AI Helps Seismologists Predict Earthquakes," 22 Sep. 2019 Even a one-centimeter tidbit could disable a spacecraft. Mark Fischetti, Scientific American, "Relentless Rise of Space Junk Threatens Satellites and Earth," 1 Feb. 2019 In January, the navigation cameras on OSIRIS-REx captured three ejection events that each spewed about 100 centimeter-sized asteroid particles into space. Wired, "No One Knows Why Rocks Are Exploding From Asteroid Bennu," 5 Dec. 2019 Its focusing distance is remarkably close, at just a centimeter from the lens. Alex Erdekian, Condé Nast Traveler, "5 Underwater Cameras for Every Situation—From Waterfalls to Deep Sea Dives," 18 Nov. 2019 Zaia also expressed concern for snowfalls in the mountains above Venice, where up to 120 centimeters (47 inches) was expected. Colleen Barry, Anchorage Daily News, "Venice ‘on its knees’ after second-worst king-tide flood ever recorded," 13 Nov. 2019 Las Vegas got a little more than a quarter-inch (.63 centimeters) from June to the end of September this year, the 14th driest on record. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Monsoon brings high hope, delivers little rain in Southwest," 30 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'centimeter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of centimeter

1794, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for centimeter

Time Traveler

The first known use of centimeter was in 1794

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Statistics for centimeter

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Centimeter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/centimeter. Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for centimeter


How to pronounce centimeter (audio) How to pronounce centimeter (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of centimeter

: a length equal to ¹/₁₀₀ meter


cen·​ti·​me·​ter | \ ˈsen-tə-ˌmē-tər How to pronounce centimeter (audio) \

Kids Definition of centimeter

: a unit of length equal to ¹/₁₀₀ meter


variants: or chiefly British centimetre \ ˈsent-​ə-​ˌmēt-​ər How to pronounce centimetre (audio) , ˈsänt-​ How to pronounce centimetre (audio) \

Medical Definition of centimeter

: a unit of length equal to ¹/₁₀₀ meter

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More from Merriam-Webster on centimeter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with centimeter

Spanish Central: Translation of centimeter

Nglish: Translation of centimeter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of centimeter for Arabic Speakers

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