The pint is an English unit of volume or capacity in the imperial system and United States customary units. The imperial version is 20 imperial fluid ounces and is equivalent to 568 mL, while the U.S. version is 16 U.S. fluid ounces and is equivalent to 473 mL. Pints are commonly abbreviated as either "p" or "pt".

As with other measurement units used in the imperial system and USA, the pint used to be a common measure throughout Europe (differing in exact value from country to country) but was replaced in most of Europe with the metric system during the nineteenth century.


;Imperial pint:The imperial pint is equal one eighth of an imperial gallon.Fifty imperial pints or sixty US liquid pints are both very close to one cubic foot.] It is used in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries, though mostly replaced by metric units.::

;Metric pint:One metric pint (used informally) is equal to 500 ml.

;Scottish pint:There was a now-obsolete unit of measurement in Scotland known as the "Scottish pint" or "joug" and equal to three imperial pints. It remained in use until the 19th century, and survived significantly longer than most of the old Scottish measurements.


The pint is defined as one eighth of a gallon. Other versions of the gallon were defined for different commodities, and there were equally many versions of the pint.

America adopted the British wine gallon (defined in 1707 as 231 cubic inches exactly (3 in × 7 in × 11 in)) as its basic liquid measure, from which the U.S. wet pint is derived, and the British corn gallon (⅛ of a standard “Winchester” bushel of corn, or 268.8 cubic inches) as its dry measure, from which the US dry pint is derived.

In 1824 the British parliament replaced all its variant gallons with a new imperial gallon based on ten pounds of distilled water at 62 °F (277.42 cubic inches), from which the UK pint is derived.

Effects of metrication

As part of the metrication process, the pint in the UK is now required to be used only as a measure for beer and cider when sold by the glass (see pint glass) – in public houses for instance. The measure is sometimes used for other goods, particularly milk; although since labels must give priority to metric measurements this will be shown as "568 ml (1 pint)", or just "568 ml" (see Metrication in the United Kingdom).

Many recipes published in the UK still provide ingredient quantities in imperial, where the pint is often used as a unit for larger liquid quantities. Most new recipes are now published in metric only with the "pint" being rounded to a convenient metric value.

Kenya and Virgin Islands also require that beer and cider are sold in pints. In the Republic of Ireland, the pint is used for serving beer and cider. Sometimes milk is also sold by the pint.

In Australia and New Zealand, a subtle change was made in 1 pint milk bottles during the conversion from Imperial to metric in the 1970s. The height and diameter of the milk bottle remained unchanged, so that existing equipment for handling and storing such bottles was unaffected, but the shape was subtly adjusted to increase the capacity from 568 ml to 600 ml - a nice, round, metric measure. Such milk bottles are no longer officially referred to as pints. The pint glass in pubs in Australia (which is so called) remains closer to the standard Imperial pint, at 570 ml.A pint of beer in Australia or New Zealand is 570 ml, except in South Australia where a pint is 425 ml and 570 ml is called an "imperial pint".

A 375 ml bottle of liquor in the US and the Canadian maritime provinces is sometimes referred to as a “pint”, harking back to the days when liquor came in actual US pints, quarts, and half-gallons.

In some regions of France, a standard 250 ml measure of beer is known as "a half", originally meaning a half pint.


[ pint] The French word "pinte" is etymologically related, but historically described a larger unit, of about 952.1 ml. In French Canada in particular, the imperial pint is actually the "chopine" whilst the imperial quart is the "pinte". In France it's sometimes used to describe a 500 ml glass of beer. In Flanders, the word pint only refers to a 250 ml glass of lager. Some West- and East-Flemish dialects use it as a word for beaker.


External links

* [ European Commission press release (IP/07/1297, 11 September 2007): Pints and miles will not disappear due to European Commission proposal] []

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pint — 〈[ paınt] n.; s, od. s; Abk.: pt〉 engl. u. nordamerikan. Flüssigkeitsmaß, 0,5 l ● ein Pint Cider bestellen [→ Pinte] * * * 1Pint [pa̮int ], das; s, s [engl. pint < (a)frz. pinte < mlat. pin(c)ta, zu lat. pictum, 2. Part. von: pingere =… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • pint — S2 [paınt] n [Date: 1300 1400; : Old French; Origin: pinte, from Medieval Latin pincta, from Latin, past participle of pingere to paint ; probably because a mark was painted on a bottle to show how much it contained] 1.) written abbreviation pt a …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Pint — Glas (Großbritannien) mit Bier. Die Pinte (bzw. das Pint, cf. französisch la pinte) ist ein altes Raummaß sowohl für Flüssigkeiten als auch – besonders im angelsächsischen Raum – für Trockenmaße. Sie entspricht in den alten Maßsystemen zumeist –… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • pint — [pīnt] n. [ME pynte < MFr pinte < ML pinta, prob. < VL * pincta, for L picta, fem. pp. of pingere, to PAINT: orig. prob. a spot marking the level in a measure] 1. a) a unit of liquid measure, equal to 1/ 2 of a liquid quart or 16 fluid… …   English World dictionary

  • Pint — Pint, n. [OE. pinte, F. pinte, fr. Sp. pinta spot, mark, pint, fr. pintar to paint; a mark for a pint prob. having been made on or in a larger measure. See {Paint}.] A measure of capacity, equal to half a quart, or four gills, used in liquid and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pint — [ paınt ] noun count * 1. ) a unit for measuring liquid. In the U.K. a pint is equal to 0.57 liters and in the U.S. it is equal to 0.48 liters: two pints of milk 2. ) BRITISH INFORMAL a pint of beer pull pints to work in a bar serving drinks …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • pint — (n.) late 14c., from O.Fr. pinte (13c.), from V.L. *pincta (Cf. O.Prov., Sp., It. pinta), perhaps ultimately from L. picta painted, fem. pp. of pingere (see PAINT (Cf. paint)), on notion of a painted mark on a vessel indicating this measure. Used …   Etymology dictionary

  • Pint — Pint, n. (Zo[ o]l.) The laughing gull. [Prov. Eng.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pint — s. m. unitate anglo saxonă de măsură pentru capacităţi, egală cu 0,568 l în Marea Britanie şi 1,136 l în Canada. (< engl. pint) Trimis de raduborza, 15.09.2007. Sursa: MDN …   Dicționar Român

  • Pint — [paint] das; s, s <aus gleichbed. engl. pint, dies über (alt)fr. pinte aus mlat. pin(c)ta, dies wohl über das Vulgärlat. zu lat. pictum, Part. Perf. (Neutrum) von pingere »malen«, also eigtl. »gemalte Linie des Eichstriches«> engl. u.… …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • Pint — [Wichtig (Rating 3200 5600)] Bsp.: • Ein Pint Lager für mich, Ted …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

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