Definition of kilometer
: a metric unit of length equal to 1000 meters — see metric system table
How do you pronounce kilometer?
In North American speech kilometer is most often pronounced with primary stress on the second syllable. This pronunciation is also heard frequently in British speech. Those who object to second syllable stress say that the first syllable should be stressed in accord with the stress patterns of centimeter, millimeter, etc. However, the pronunciation of kilometer does not parallel that of other metric compounds. From 1828 to 1841 Noah Webster indicated only second syllable stress, and his successor added a first syllable stress variant in the first Merriam-Webster dictionary of 1847. Thus, both pronunciations are venerable. Most scientists use second syllable stress, although first syllable stress seems to occur with a higher rate of frequency among scientists than among nonscientists.
Recent Examples of kilometer from the Web
Scientists at the University of Swansea in Britain said Thursday the rift in the Larsen C ice shelf grew by 17 kilometers (10.6 miles) in six days.
Most recently, Syrian troops and their allies have been marching toward the IS stronghold of Sukhna, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) northeast of Palmyra.
Thompson said the 5.5 kilometer course was set up to minimize impact on the neighborhood and drivers while taking advantage of hilly terrain that makes the course more challenging for riders.
The storm had maximum sustained winds of 89 kilometers (55 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 117 kph (73 mph).
The shootings took place at three homes Saturday night — two in Brookhaven and one in Bogue Chitto — about 70 miles (110 kilometers) south of Jackson, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said.
Although the airport is located on Long Island's south shore, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of New York City, complaints about aircraft clatter stretch to communities many miles away.
At least 29 people, some of them children, were killed when gunmen in military fatigues opened fire on a bus carrying members of the Coptic Christian minority in Minya province, about 200 kilometers (124 miles) south of Cairo.
Skimming just 5,000 kilometers above the cloud tops, Juno flies closer to Jupiter than any spacecraft has before (not counting the time the Galileo orbiter intentionally crashed into the planet to end that mission in September 2003).
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kilometer'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
A kilometer is equal to about 62/100 of a mile, and a mile is equal to about 1.61 kilometers. The U.S. has been slow to adopt metric measures, which are used almost everywhere else in the world. Though our car speedometers are often marked in both miles and kilometers, the U.S. and Great Britain are practically the only developed nations that still show miles rather than kilometers on their road signs. But even in the U.S., footraces are usually measured in meters or kilometers, like the Olympic races. Runners normally abbreviate kilometer to K: "a 5K race" (3.1 miles), "the 10K run" (6.2 miles), and so on.
Origin and Etymology of kilometer
French kilomètre, from kilo- + mètre meter
First Known Use: 1810See Words from the same year
KILOMETER Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of kilometer for English Language Learners
: a unit of length equal to 1,000 meters
KILOMETER Defined for Kids
Definition of kilometer for Students
: a metric unit of length equal to 1000 meters
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up kilometer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).