cen·​ti·​me·​ter ˈsen-tə-ˌmē-tər How to pronounce centimeter (audio) ˈsän- How to pronounce centimeter (audio)
: a unit of length equal to ¹/₁₀₀ meter see Metric System Table

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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 From then on, the jewels would be locked in a black leather case measuring 39 by 31 by 20 centimeters, then covered with tar paper and sealed with 11 seals. Elisabetta Caprotti, Vogue, 21 Feb. 2024 And then the train passes over them, leaving only like a centimeter to spare. Quanta Magazine, 15 Feb. 2024 Near the basin’s most intensive farm pumping farther east, Department of Water Resources chief hydrologist Ryan Mitchell said, land has subsided 25 centimeters, or nearly 10 inches, since 2010. Brandon Loomis, The Arizona Republic, 5 Feb. 2024 Virtually all of Southern California was under flash flood advisories and watches, including the Los Angeles area, where between 5 and 10 inches (12.7 to 25.4 centimeters) of rain had fallen and more was expected, according to the National Weather Service. Julie Watson, Twin Cities, 5 Feb. 2024 The primary goal is to perfect the auto-segmentation process, since doing so manually is both time-consuming and expensive (more than $100 per square centimeter). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 5 Feb. 2024 Erosion had declined from 30 centimeters per year to 10 centimeters per year in areas repopulated by otters, according to Nature News. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Feb. 2024 The record for January was set in 2009 at 75.2 inches (191 centimeters), said Nathan Compton, a National Weather Service meteorologist. Becky Bohrer, Fortune, 25 Jan. 2024 Now, in a new study, researchers have unveiled one just 10 centimeters long. IEEE Spectrum, 17 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'centimeter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1794, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of centimeter was in 1794

Dictionary Entries Near centimeter

Cite this Entry

“Centimeter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/centimeter. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


cen·​ti·​me·​ter ˈsent-ə-ˌmēt-ər How to pronounce centimeter (audio) ˈsänt- How to pronounce centimeter (audio)
: a unit of length equal to ¹⁄₁₀₀ meter see metric system

Medical Definition


variants or chiefly British centimetre
: a unit of length equal to ¹/₁₀₀ meter

More from Merriam-Webster on centimeter

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