li·​ter | \ˈlē-tər \
variants: or

Definition of liter 

: a metric unit of capacity equal to one cubic decimeter — see Metric System Table

Examples of liter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The average levels in urine had more than doubled in two decades, from 0.203 micrograms per liter (µg/L) in 1993-1996 to 0.449 µg/L in 2014-2016. Matthew Berger, Fox News, "Can using weed killer give you cancer?," 27 Aug. 2018 The amounts ranged from less than one microgram to more than 460 micrograms of toxin per liter. Maya Sweedler, WSJ, "Florida Fights Giant Algal Bloom in Lake Okeechobee," 16 July 2018 The San Antonio Express-News reports these engines, ranging in size from nine to 18 liters, are used in generators, oil and gas operations and industrial applications. Rye Druzin,, "Caterpillar plant in Texas reminder of trade conflict stakes," 20 June 2018 These engines, ranging in size from nine to 18 liters, are used in generators, oil and gas operations and industrial applications. Rye Druzin, San Antonio Express-News, "Caterpillar plant shows stakes of growing trade conflict," 19 June 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,, "For these immigrants, flipping pancakes and learning English go hand-in-hand," 12 July 2018 For decades doctors have been trying to decode the dark, slimy terrains of the GI tract—probing both ends with cameras and scopes and liters of oral contrast liquid. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "This Digital Pill Prototype Uses Bacteria to Sense Stomach Bleeding," 24 May 2018 Racusin gives a go-to classic extra depth by infusing Campari with fresh raspberries (one clamshell of raspberries per liter of Campari) for two weeks before mixing it with Punt e Mes, an Italian vermouth, and some dry sparkling wine. Natalie B. Compton, GQ, "Three New Spritzes For Your Summer Day Drinking Needs," 2 June 2018 Domino's - Domino's is running several specials overlapping Super Bowl Sunday, including two medium one-topping pizzas, Cinnamon Bread Sticks, 16-piece Parmesan Bread Bites and a two-liter Coca Cola for $19.99. Leada Gore,, "Super Bowl LII: Deals, discounts on pizza, wings, more before Patriots vs. Eagles," 3 Feb. 2018

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

1797, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for liter

French litre, from Medieval Latin litra, a measure, from Greek, a weight

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Dictionary Entries near liter

lit de repos






literal contract

Statistics for liter

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for liter

The first known use of liter was in 1797

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More Definitions for liter



English Language Learners Definition of liter

: a metric unit for measuring the volume of a liquid or gas that is equal to 1.057 quarts


li·​ter | \ˈlē-tər \

Kids Definition of liter

: a metric unit of liquid capacity equal to 1.057 quarts


variants: or chiefly British litre \ ˈlēt-​ər \

Medical Definition of liter 

: a metric unit of capacity equal to the volume of one kilogram of water at 4°C (39°F) and at standard atmospheric pressure of 760 millimeters of mercury

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Comments on liter

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


a private place of worship

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