## What Is a Centimeter?

A **centimeter** is a very important and commonly used metric unit of measurement for measuring lengths of objects and spaces.

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The abbreviation for a centimeter is cm. Other commonly used metric units for measuring lengths include the kilometer (km), meter (m), và millimeter (mm). Another way lớn spell the unit of measurement is ""centimetre."" This spelling is typically used around the world in most other countries, but it is spelled as ""centimeter"" in the United States of America (USA).### What Does a Centimeter Look Like? - Unicode Symbol

A centimeter is commonly seen on rulers as cm. The Unicode symbols are used in order to sustain compatibility across various languages & scripts. It allows easy identification of a common symbol. The Unicode symbols for centimeters are:

eq m centimet /eq for centimeter (used to measure length) (code 339D) eq m cm^2 /eq for centimeter square (used lớn measure area) (code 33A0) eq m cm^3 /eq for centimeter cubed (used lớn measure volume) (code 33A4)A centimeter is a fairly small unit of measurement for length. For example, a cheerio (the piece of cereal) is about 1 cm wide in diameter.

### How Big Is a Centimeter? - Comparison with Inches

An imperial unit of measurement used commonly in some countries, like the USA, for length is an inch (in). To lớn compare the two units of length measurement, we can use the following conversion from inches to centimeters:

eq1 ext in = 2.54 ext cm /eq

To convert from centimeters to lớn inches, we divide by 2.54:

eq1 ext cm = dfrac12.54 ext in = 0.3937007874 ext in approx 0.39 ext in /eq

Note that converting from centimeters to lớn inches does include more decimal points. For ease of conversion, we can say that 1 cm is approximately 0.39 inches (although we đại bại some precision by doing so).

Another unit of measurement in length used in the imperial system is the foot (ft). Each foot contains 12 inches and each inch contains 2.54 cm, so we have

eq1 ext ft = 12 imes 2.54 ext cm = 30.48 ext cm approx 30 ext cm /eq

Thus, each foot contains about 30 cm, and many standard length rulers include 30 cm.

Envisioning centimet on a ruler; 30 centimet is approximately 1 foot

A roller coaster ride at an amusement park requires a child to lớn be at least 4 feet tall to ride without assistance from an adult. Max visited his doctor just yesterday & the nurse informed him and his mom that Max had now grown khổng lồ 136 cm in height. Is Max tall enough to lớn ride the roller coaster today, or will he need to wait another year or so?

To convert from cm to inches, we use the conversion

eq1 ext cm approx 0.39 ext in /eq,

so we have

eq136 imes 0.39 ext in = 53.04 ext in approx 53 ext in /eq

The height scale at the amusement park is probably not exact enough to lớn include hundredths of an inch, so it"s safe to lớn say that Max"s height will be measured as 53 inches.

Now, each foot has 12 inches, so we need to lớn divide by 12 to convert inches lớn feet:

eqdfrac5312 ext ft approx 4.42 ext ft /eq

Rounding our answer lớn the nearest hundredth, we can see that Max is well over 4 feet, so yes, Max is tall enough lớn ride the rollercoaster without his mom today!

Conversion Example 2Each year, many universities in the colder regions of the country will cancel classes if a certain number of feet of snowfall is expected on a given day.

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Assume that the University of Minnesota will cancel all in-person classes if a snowstorm is expected khổng lồ bring over 95 cm of snow. The local meteorologist reported on the 6:30 AM news segment that the Minneapolis/St. Paul Twin Cities metro area is expected to see 3 feet of snow. Should the students và faculty who attend the University of Minnesota expect lớn have a snow day?This time, we need to convert from feet to centimeters.

First, each foot has 12 inches, so we multiply by 12 to lớn convert to lớn inches.

eq3 imes 12 = 36 ext in /eq.

Now, we use the conversion

eq1 ext in = 2.54 ext cm /eq,

and we find

eq36 imes 2.54 ext cm = 91.44 ext cm /eq

This 91.44 centimet is below the 95 cm threshold, so students & faculty will still need to trudge through the snow today to lớn attend in-person classes.

## Centimeter Definition

If you"ve ever see a ruler, you may have asked yourself "what is a centimeter?" Well you"re in luck, because that is the very question that this lesson will answer.

A **centimeter** is a metric unit of length. You may also see centimeter spelled as centimetre. Both spellings are correct, & both mean the same thing. Sometimes on a ruler it may be marked cm, and this is the abbreviation for centimeter.

A centimeter is comparable lớn the imperial unit of measure known as inches. You will notice when looking at the ruler that on one side there are markings lớn measure centimeters, and on the other side there are markings lớn measure inches. This is actually quite common.

You may also notice when comparing the sizes of the two units of measure that centimeters are smaller than inches. 1 centimeter is equal to 0.3937 inches, or 1 inch is equal to lớn 2.54 centimeters. In other words, 1 centimeter is less than half as big as an inch, so you need about two-and-a-half centimeters to make one inch.