metric system


Definition of metric system 

: a decimal system of weights and measures based on the meter and on the kilogram

metric system table

Examples of metric system in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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 To make dishes like struffoli, biscotti, castagnole and torta pasqualina, the students view the recipe in both Italian and English and learn about the different metric systems. Allison Bagley, Houston Chronicle, "Have picky eaters in your home? Take them to cooking class," 3 July 2018 Where the metric system is in use, horse races are in meters. Kelly Ward, The Courier-Journal, "Here are the answers to all of your dumb horse racing questions," 5 June 2018 Calm down, weather lovers, the National Weather Service in Portland is not moving to the metric system. Lizzy Acker,, "National Weather Service in Portland moves to the metric system (plus other April Fool's jokes you might have missed)," 1 Apr. 2018 Every country in the world, with the exception of Myanmar, Liberia, and the United States, uses the metric system. Christopher Muther,, "The world has gotten Trump’s message," 8 Feb. 2018 Australians also use the metric system, so distances and speeds are measured in kilometers, as opposed to miles. Krisanne Fordham, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Essential Things to Know Before You Visit Sydney," 2 Mar. 2018 Since 1965, the British government has been pushing its people toward the metric system, used most everywhere else but the U.S., Liberia and Myanmar. Jenny Gross, WSJ, "English Vigilantes Use Ladders, Sticky Letters to Exterminate the Metric System," 23 Oct. 2017 At press time, only three of the world's countries don't use the metric system: the United States, Myanmar and Liberia. Kat Eschner, Smithsonian, "America Has Been Struggling With the Metric System For Almost 230 Years," 27 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'metric system.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of metric system

1864, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about metric system

Share metric system

Statistics for metric system

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for metric system

The first known use of metric system was in 1864

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for metric system

metric system


Kids Definition of metric system

: a system of weights and measures in which the meter is the unit of length and the kilogram is the unit of weight

metric system


Medical Definition of metric system 

: a decimal system of weights and measures based on the meter and on the kilogram — compare cgs, mks

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on metric system

Spanish Central: Translation of metric system

Nglish: Translation of metric system for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about metric system

Comments on metric system

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


having a pattern of small flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!