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also centimetre, 1801, from French centimètre (18c.), coined from Latin centum "hundred" (see hundred) + French mètre (see meter (n.2)).
centimeter cen·ti·me·ter (sěn'tə-mē'tər)n. Abbr. cm A unit of length equal to one hundredth (10-2) of a meter.
A unit of length in the metric system; one-hundredth of a meter, or about two-fifths of an inch.