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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 centimeter
  • Self examination alerted me to a two centimeter sized lump two months ago.
  • But it is tiny, being the size of a credit card and about a centimeter thick.
  • Each segment in the scale bar at the bottom represents one centimeter.
  • By calculating the travel time, the distance to the moon from the laser site can be determined to within a centimeter.
  • Consequently, it must be denser-about four grams per cubic centimeter.
  • Even after you have washed the skin clean, there are still one million bacteria in every square centimeter.
  • West is every centimeter a carnivorous military beast.
  • Already, the prototype has collected more than a hundred half-centimeter-long sections of mouse brain.
  • Live in fear of having a single centimeter of clothing brush the arm of a fellow subway rider.
  • Everyone knew that this would be suicide, because every centimeter of that territory was being shot up.
British Dictionary definitions for centimeter


one hundredth of a metre
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for centimeter

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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centimeter 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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centimeter 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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centimeter 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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