ki·​lo | \ ˈkē-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce kilo (audio) also ˈki- How to pronounce kilo (audio) \
plural kilos

Definition of kilo

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a unit of mass or weight equaling one thousand grams or approximately 2.2 pounds : kilogram Each sack weighs 50 kilos. Did you know … that it takes a lobster between five and seven years to grow to a weight of half a kilo, the minimum size it should reach before being fished?Food & Drink When he finally strips off the kilos of gold enveloping his body, Deion is as light as a feather.— Curry Kirkpatrick Gathering in Versailles, west of Paris, governments are expected on Friday to approve plans to instead use a scientific formulation to define the exact mass of a kilo.— John Leicester


communications code word

Definition of Kilo (Entry 2 of 3)

used as a code word for the letter k

Definition of kilo- (Entry 3 of 3)

: thousand kiloton

Examples of kilo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Sombra, a six-year-old German shepherd, has helped Colombia's police detect more than 2,000 kilos of cocaine hidden in suitcases, boats and large shipments of fruit. Manuel Rueda, Fox News, "Extraordinary drug dog worries Colombian cartel," 27 July 2018 Eventually, wooden platters weighed down with kilos of beef and meaty juices land at your table; sides may or may not follow suit. Sorrel Moseley-williams, Condé Nast Traveler, "13 Best Steakhouses in Buenos Aires," 24 May 2018 Three of the packages, sent through the Postal Service and intercepted at O’Hare, each contained half a kilo of a fentanyl analogue, court documents say. John Keilman,, "'Like finding a needle in a haystack': Agents trying to stop deadly opioid fentanyl from entering U.S. in tough battle," 12 June 2018 Last year, Guatemalan crews seized more than 10,000 kilos of cocaine, a 40 percent increase over the previous year. Carol Morello, Washington Post, "Haley visits Guatemala looking for ways to fight drugs and corruption," 1 Mar. 2018 Sergio Neftali Mejia-Duarte, 41, used go-fast boats, helicopters and airplanes to ship an estimated 20,000 kilos of cocaine from Colombia through Central America to Mexico then the United States, U.S. authorities said. Jay Weaver, miamiherald, "Honduran drug lord who supplied 'El Chapo' sentenced to life in prison," 21 May 2018 Cirino and Romero later brought the kilos to a meeting with the source inside a room at the Red Roof Plus in Woburn, records show. Travis Andersen,, "Three men nabbed in fentanyl trafficking ring that stretched from R.I. to Lawrence," 28 June 2018 Climate change, crime and speculation mean the price of the fragrant spice has skyrocketed from $20 a kilo five years ago to $515 in June. Aryn Baker/sahabevava, Time, "Vanilla Is Nearly as Expensive as Silver. That Spells Trouble for Madagascar," 13 June 2018 Federal agents arrested him, and a search of his home uncovered a kilo each of what appeared to be fentanyl and heroin, court documents say. John Keilman,, "'Like finding a needle in a haystack': Agents trying to stop deadly opioid fentanyl from entering U.S. in tough battle," 12 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of kilo


1870, in the meaning defined above

Communications code word

1952, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kilo

Combining form

French, modification of Greek chilioi

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about kilo

Dictionary Entries near kilo


kiln scum






Statistics for kilo

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for kilo

The first known use of kilo was in 1870

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for kilo

English Language Learners Definition of kilo-

: thousand


ki·​lo | \ ˈkē-lō How to pronounce kilo (audio) \
plural kilos

Kids Definition of kilo



Kids Definition of kilo-

: thousand kilometer

More from Merriam-Webster on kilo

Spanish Central: Translation of kilo

Nglish: Translation of kilo for Spanish Speakers

Comments on kilo

What made you want to look up kilo? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


using a distributed computer network

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!