kilogram

noun
ki·​lo·​gram | \ˈkē-lə-ˌgram, ˈki-lə- \

Definition of kilogram 

1 : the base unit of mass in the International System of Units that is equal to the mass of a prototype agreed upon by international convention and that is nearly equal to the mass of 1000 cubic centimeters of water at the temperature of its maximum density — see Metric System Table

2 : a unit of force or weight equal to the weight of a kilogram mass under a gravitational attraction equal to that of the earth

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Did You Know?

The original concept of the kilogram, as the mass of a cubic decimeter of water (a bit more than a quart), was adopted as the base unit of mass by the new revolutionary government of France in 1793. In 1875, in the Treaty of the Meter, 17 countries, including the U.S., adopted the French kilogram as an international standard. In 1889 a new international standard for the kilogram, a metal bar made of platinum iridium, was agreed to; President Benjamin Harrison officially received the 1-kilogram cylinder for the U.S. in 1890. But no one uses that bar very often; for all practical purposes, a kilogram equals 2.2 pounds.

Examples of kilogram in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In the latest competition, the 5-foot-9 Easley topped out at 126 kilograms (277 pounds) in the snatch and 156 kilograms (343 pounds) in the clean and jerk for a total of 282 kilograms (620 pounds). Rick Armstrong, Aurora Beacon-News, "Armstrong: West Aurora's Will Easley finds his way in Olympic weightlifting competitions," 30 June 2018 Since 2015, officials in Tibet have given every climber two trash bags to retrieve at least 17.6 pounds of rubbish, levying a fine of $100 for each kilogram (about 2.2 pounds) by which a climber falls short. Muyu Xu And David Stanway, The Christian Science Monitor, "China clears Everest of 9.4 tons of waste," 4 June 2018 Schoenfeld recently reviewed the current literature and found that eating 1.6 to 2.2 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight divided over four meals each day best supports muscle building. Sara Angle, Outside Online, "Here's When You Should Eat Protein," 16 May 2018 The company is expecting even larger satellites -- up to 320 kilograms, or about 700 pounds -- to pass through a new commercial airlock that NanoRacks is developing for the space station. Andrea Leinfelder, Houston Chronicle, "Largest satellite to date deployed from International Space Station," 20 June 2018 Five Hall County residents were arrested Thursday for possessing over one kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, of methamphetamine, authorities said. Zachary Hansen, ajc, "5 arrested for allegedly possessing over $100,000 of meth in Hall County," 18 May 2018 For over a century the kilogram, the unit of mass, has been defined as the weight of a small block of metal sitting in France. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Can Now Define the Kilogram In Terms of Raw Physics," 22 June 2016 For 10 years, drug agents say, Joe Copeland ran a trafficking operation that moved kilograms of heroin to Milwaukee from Chicago. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "7 charged in heroin wholesaling indictment headed by alleged Milwaukee ringleader 'Joe Millionaire'," 3 July 2018 Thirteen people have been charged as part of a major drug trafficking operation on the North Shore that yielded more than 2.5 kilograms of fentanyl and heroin, 3,000 pills and $415,000 in cash, law enforcement officials announced Wednesday. Alana Levene, BostonGlobe.com, "13 arrested in North Shore drug bust," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kilogram.' 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 kilogram

1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for kilogram

French kilogramme, from kilo- + gramme gram

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Statistics for kilogram

Last Updated

22 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for kilogram

The first known use of kilogram was in 1797

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More Definitions for kilogram

kilogram

noun

English Language Learners Definition of kilogram

: a unit of weight equal to 1,000 grams

kilogram

noun
ki·​lo·​gram | \ˈki-lə-ˌgram \

Kids Definition of kilogram

: a metric unit of weight equal to 1000 grams

kilogram

noun
ki·​lo·​gram
variants: or chiefly British kilogramme \ ˈkil-​ə-​ˌgram , ˈkē-​lə-​ \

Medical Definition of kilogram 

1 : the base unit of mass in the International System of Units that is equal to the mass of a prototype agreed upon by international convention and that is nearly equal to the mass of 1000 cubic centimeters of water at the temperature of its maximum density

2 : a unit of force equal to the weight of a kilogram mass under a gravitational attraction equal to that of the earth

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