Meaning of “centimetre” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"centimetre" in British English

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centimetrenoun [ C ]

UK US centimeter uk /ˈsen.tɪˌmiː.tər/ us /ˈsen.t̬əˌmiː.t̬ɚ/ written abbreviation cm

A2 a unit of length equal to 0.01 of a metre


  • The shelves are three centimetres thick.
  • There is a ten centimetre gap between the table and the wall.
  • I need the measurements for the curtains in centimetres.

Examples from literature

  • It was not until Thursday night, however, that the Germans brought their famous forty-two- centimetre guns into action. 
  • Several species are common growing upon the bottom of ponds and slow streams, and range in size from a few centimetres to a metre or more in height. 
  • She had had in her body one wound of ten centimetres in size. 
  • The sterile branches grow to a height of forty to fifty centimetres, and from their bushy form the popular name of the plant, "horse-tail," is taken. 
  • They vary from a few centimetres to half a metre in height. 

(Definition of “centimetre” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"centimetre" in Business English

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centimetrenoun [ C ]

UK US centimeter uk /ˈsentɪˌmiːtər/ us abbreviation cm

MEASURES a unit of measurement of length in the metric system, equal to 0.01 metres or 0.3937 inches:

Bangkok is sinking at the rate of up to five centimetres (two inches) a year, and the entire city may be below sea level by 2050.
The newspaper has increased the amount it charges per square centimetre of advertising space by 16%.

(Definition of “centimetre” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)