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

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 Most students were raised in the metric system, and suddenly need to think in pounds and cups, not kilograms and liters. Anya Van Wagtendonk, Philly.com, "For these immigrants, flipping pancakes and learning English go hand-in-hand," 12 July 2018 Assuming no sci-fi power source is involved, the batteries to power such a weapon would need to weight four or five times more than the entire gun's reported three kilogram weight. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Everything Suspicious About China's Laser Rifle Claims," 9 July 2018 On a cost per kilogram basis, this represents a 14-percent increase. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA to pay more for less cargo delivery to the space station," 27 Apr. 2018 At one point, some defendants drove 60 pounds (27 kilograms) of marijuana to Chicago and sold it on the black market. Gillian Flaccus, Fox News, "Top US attorney in Oregon charges 9 in fraud, pot scheme," 12 June 2018 In weightlifting, Iranian Olympic champion Sohrab Moradi won gold, setting a new record of 413 kilograms for a combined total, and breaking the longest standing world record in the sport. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "Tea + Victory board game café opens April 10 in the Heights area," 6 Apr. 2018 Further testing helped officers identify the substance as fentanyl, which customs officials said could be sold for $34,000 per kilogram on the street. Chris Palmer, Philly.com, "Feds say 110 pounds of fentanyl valued at $1.7M seized in Philly," 2 July 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

24 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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Comments on kilogram

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