Metric system
Metric system Met"ric sys"tem . A system of weights and measures originating in France, the use of which is required by law in many countries, and permitted in many others, including the United States; the system is also called by its French name, {Le Syst[`e]me International de Unit['e]s} (abbreviated SI). The principal unit of length is the meter (see {Meter}). From this are formed the are, the liter, the stere, the gram, etc. These units, and others derived from them, are divided decimally, and larger units are formed from multiples by 10, 100, 1,000, and 10,000. The successive multiplies are designated by the prefixes, deka- (formerly deca-), hecto-, kilo-, and myria- (seldom used); successive parts by deci-, centi-, and milli-. The prefixes mega- and micro- are used to denote a multiple by one million, and the millionth part, respectively; giga- and nano- denote multiples of one billion (1,000,000,000) and one billionth, respectively. The prefix for one trillion (1012) is tera, and for one trillionth (10-12) is pico; for one quintillion (1015) peta, and for (10-15) (one quintillionth) femto; for (10-18) atto. See the words formed with these prefixes in the Vocabulary. For metric tables, see p. 1682. [1913 Webster +PJC]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • metric system — ˈmetric ˌsystem noun [singular] the system of weights and measures that is based on the metre and the kilogram: • The metric system is in use in most of the industrial countries. * * * metric system UK US noun [S] ► MEASURES the system of… …   Financial and business terms

  • Metric system — Metric Met ric (m[e^]t r[i^]k), a. [L. metricus, Gr. ?: cf. F. m[ e]trique. See {Meter} rhythm.] 1. Relating to measurement; involving, or proceeding by, measurement. [1913 Webster] 2. Of or pertaining to the meter as a standard of measurement;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • metric system — metric .system n the metric system the system of weights and measures that is based on the kilogram and the metre …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • metric system — n a decimal system of weights and measures based on the meter and on the kilogram compare CGS, MKS * * * a decimal system of weights and measures based on the meter. See also SI unit, under unit, and see Appendix 7 …   Medical dictionary

  • metric system — ► NOUN ▪ the decimal measuring system based on the metre, litre, and gram as units of length, capacity, and weight or mass …   English terms dictionary

  • metric system — n. any of various decimal systems of weights and measures; now, esp., the SI system, in which the centimeter, gram, and second or the meter, kilogram, and second are the basic units: see the table of weights and measures in the Reference… …   English World dictionary

  • Metric system — This article is about the metric system in general. For information about specific versions of the system, such as the International System of Units or the cgs system of units, see #Variants. For a generally accessible and less technical… …   Wikipedia

  • metric system — noun a decimal system of weights and measures based on the meter and the kilogram and the second • Hypernyms: ↑system of weights and measures • Hyponyms: ↑cgs, ↑cgs system, ↑Systeme International d Unites, ↑Systeme International, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • metric system — a decimal system of weights and measures, adopted first in France but now widespread, universally used in science, mandatory for use for all purposes in a large number of countries, and favored for use in most (as in the U.S.). The basic units… …   Universalium

  • metric system — /ˈmɛtrɪk sɪstəm / (say metrik sistuhm) noun a decimal system of measurement, first adopted in France in 1795, and adopted internationally by the Metric Convention in 1875. The modern metric system, known as the International System of Units (SI) …   Australian English dictionary

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