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[sen-tuh-mee-ter] /ˈsɛn təˌmi tər/
one 100th of a meter, equivalent to 0.3937 inch.
Abbreviation: cm, cm.
Also, especially British, centimetre.
Origin of centimeter
1795-1805; < French centimètre. See centi-, meter1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for centimeters
  • The chair's base is ten centimeters by twenty centimeters.
  • Most people aren't two meters tall, and your eyes are several centimeters below the top of your head.
  • So the number of actual cubic centimeters in the inflating phase will grow without bound, leading to eternal inflation.
  • There is no controversy that the penetration depth of microwaves into the brain is a few centimeters, and that energy is absorbed.
  • Begin with a random-dot pattern about five square centimeters in size.
  • Today he reportedly lives abroad, the bullet fragments still lodged a few centimeters below his brain.
  • Gallstones can range in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters in diameter.
  • What isn't known is whether the centimeters, when broken out, add up to editor in chief.
  • Fractions of centimeters are never used or reported in measurement of height.
  • Surgery can give good local control with lesions less than two centimeters in size and in an area amenable to surgery.
Word Origin and History for centimeters



also centimetre, 1801, from French centimètre (18c.), coined from Latin centum "hundred" (see hundred) + French mètre (see meter (n.2)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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centimeters in Medicine

centimeter cen·ti·me·ter (sěn'tə-mē'tər)
Abbr. cm
A unit of length equal to one hundredth (10-2) of a meter.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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centimeters in Science
A unit of length in the metric system equal to 0.01 meter. See Table at measurement.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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centimeters in Culture
centimeter [(sen-tuh-mee-tuhr)]

A unit of length in the metric system; one-hundredth of a meter, or about two-fifths of an inch.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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