SKIP TO CONTENT

centimeter

In the metric system, a centimeter is a unit of measurement that's about one-third the size of an inch. There are approximately 30 centimeters in a foot.

The word centimeter comes from the French centimètre, a combination of the Latin word for "hundred," centum, and the French mètre. A centimeter is one hundredth of a meter—in other words, there are one hundred centimeters in one meter. In just about every part of the world besides the U.S., this word is spelled centimetre.

Definitions of centimeter
  1. noun
    a metric unit of length equal to one hundredth of a meter
    synonyms: centimetre, cm
    see moresee less
    type of:
    metric linear unit
    a linear unit of distance in metric terms
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week