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

One kilo of a particular substance, Slaughter posits, would be enough to wipe out the entire human race. Richard Lipez, Washington Post, "White supremacists are the eerily relevant villains in Karin Slaughter’s new novel," 14 Aug. 2019 One kilo of plastic sells for around one Israeli shekel, or 30 cents. Heidi Levine, National Geographic, "Plastics in the Gaza Strip are both a curse and a blessing," 7 Aug. 2019 During a subsequent search of the car, officers located more than two kilos of heroin, and more than a pound of fentanyl pills. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, "North County crime blotter," 21 July 2019 Relieved of a kilo, my feet began to accelerate happily down the path towards Brothers Water, a long downhill trail, peppered with large unstable stones that require nimble legs to sail over without injury. The Economist, "For women, running is still an act of defiance," 28 June 2019 Between 1985 and 1992, Glenn Metz and his crew came to dominate St. Thomas and Calliope, prosecutors said, distributing more than 1,000 kilos of cocaine and killing 23 rivals. Casey Parks, USA Today, "'You don't know what you did for me': Released from prison by Obama, now on the dean's list," 8 July 2019 These are the real deal, straight from the ground, fresh tubers only found in parts of southeastern France and northwestern Italy—some species of which can sell for thousands of euros per kilo. Rachel King, Fortune, "9 Nonfiction Page-Turners to Bring to the Beach This Summer," 22 June 2019 Tea from this area can cost as much as $8,000 per kilo, yet there’s a kind of carelessness to the way Mr. Liu pours it, allowing it to slosh over the rims of the cups, symbolizing abundance. National Geographic, "In search of the perfect cup of tea," 14 Mar. 2019 In all, deputies found more than one kilo of ecstasy tabs, 300 grams of edible THC lollipops, 51 grams of THC vapes and wax. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Father-son duo spend Father's Day weekend in jail after drug raid arrest at west Houston home," 17 June 2019

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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near kilo



kiln scum





Statistics for kilo

Last Updated

19 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for kilo

The first known use of kilo was in 1870

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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).


not constant or steady

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