# Centimetre

Unit information Unit system a carpenters' ruler with centimetre divisions SI length cm 1 cm in ... ... is equal to ... 10 mm ~0.3937 in

Unit information Unit system a carpenters' ruler with centimetre divisions SI length cm 1 cm in ... ... is equal to ... 10 mm ~0.3937 in
Further information: metre

A centimetre (international spelling as used by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures; symbol cm) or centimeter (American spelling) is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one hundredth of a metre, centi being the SI prefix for a factor of 1100.[1] The centimetre was the base unit of length in the now deprecated centimetre-gram-second (CGS) system of units.

Though for many physical quantities, SI prefixes for factors of 103—like milli- and kilo-—are often preferred by technicians, the centimetre remains a practical unit of length for many everyday measurements. A centimetre is approximately the width of the fingernail of an average adult person.

## Equivalence to other units of length

 1 centimetre = 10 millimetres = 0.01 metres ≈ 0.393700787401575 inches[2]

One cubic centimetre is equal to 1 millilitre, under the current SI system of units.

## Uses of centimetre

In addition to its use in the measurement of length, the centimetre is used:

• sometimes, to report the level of rainfall as measured by a rain gauge [3]
• in the CGS system, the centimetre is used to measure capacitance, where 1 cm of capacitance = 1.113×10−12 farads[4]
• in maps, centimetres are used to make conversions from map scale to real world scale (kilometres)
• to represent second moment of areas (cm4)
• as the inverse of the kayser, a CGS unit, and thus a non-SI metric unit of wavenumber: 1 kayser = 1 wave per centimetre; or, more generally, (wavenumber in kaysers) = 1/(wavelength in centimetres). The SI unit of wavenumber is the inverse metre, m-1.

## Unicode symbols

For the purposes of compatibility with Chinese, Japanese and Korean (CJK) characters, Unicode has symbols for:[5]

• centimetre (㎝) – code 339D
• square centimetre (㎠) – code 33A0
• cubic centimetre (㎤) – code 33A4

They are mostly used only with East Asian fixed-width CJK fonts, because they are equal in size to one Chinese character.