a unit of capacity redefined in 1964 by a reduction of 28 parts in a million to be exactly equal to one cubic decimeter. It is equivalent to 1.0567 U.S. liquid quarts and is equal to the volume of one kilogram of distilled water at 4°C. Abbreviation: l
Also, especially British, litre.

1800–10; < French litre, back formation from litron an old measure of capacity, derivative (with -on noun suffix) of Medieval Latin litra < Greek lítra pound

letter, lighter, liter, litter. Unabridged


an informal, simplified spelling of light2 ( defs 12, 13 ), used especially in labeling or advertising commercial products: lite beer.
light2 ( def 36 ).

liteness, noun

lite, light. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
lite (laɪt)
1.  (of food and drink) containing few calories or little alcohol or fat
2.  denoting a more restrained or less extreme version of a person or thing: reggae lite
[C20: variant spelling of light²]

liter (ˈliːtə)
the US spelling of litre

litre or (US) liter (ˈliːtə)
1.  one cubic decimetre
2.  (formerly) the volume occupied by 1 kilogram of pure water at 4°C and 760 millimetres of mercury. This is equivalent to 1.000 028 cubic decimetres or about 1.76 pints
[C19: from French, from Medieval Latin litra, from Greek: a unit of weight]
liter or (US) liter
[C19: from French, from Medieval Latin litra, from Greek: a unit of weight]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1797, from Fr. litre (1793), from litron, obsolete Fr. measure of capacity for grain, from M.L. litra, from Gk. litra "pound," apparently from the same Sicilian Italic source as L. libra.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

liter li·ter (lē'tər)
Abbr. L, l
A unit of volume equal to 1000 cubic centimeters or or 1 cubic decimeter (1.0567 quarts).

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
liter   (lē'tər)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. The basic unit of liquid volume or capacity in the metric system, equal to 1.06 quart or 2.12 pints. See Table at measurement.

  2. The basic unit of dry volume or capacity in the metric system, equal to 0.90 quart or 1.82 pint. See Table at measurement.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


unit of volume in the metric system, equal to one cubic decimetre (0.001 cubic metre). From 1901 to 1964 the litre was defined as the volume of one kilogram of pure water at 4C (39.2F) and standard atmospheric pressure; in 1964 the original, present value was reinstated. One litre is equivalent to approximately 1.0567 U.S. quart.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
It takes three liters of freshwater to make one liter of bottled water.
The amount of water required to produce a liter of petroleum fuel is negligible
  by comparison.
He poured about a liter of oil into a plastic container.
And they measured the presence of nitrogen itself, filtering liter upon liter
  of water to quantify a vital nutrient source.
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