A meter (m), or metre, is the base unit of length in the International System of Units (SI), which is the modern form of the metric system. SI is the only system of measurement that is officially accepted in most countries around the world.

In the US, SI is used in many contexts, but for everyday use, the US still uses many units within the US customary system of units. Below are some relationships between meters and other common measurements of length in both SI and the US customary system of units:

1 meter  =  100 centimeters
1000 meters  =  1 kilometer
1 meter  =  39.37 inches = 3.2808 feet
   =  1.0936 yards
1609.344 meters  =  1 mile = 5280 feet

SI prefixes and the meter

In SI, each base unit can have a prefix that indicates that the value is a factor of the base unit. A few common examples include centimeters, millimeters, and kilometers. A centimeter is meters, a millimeter is meters, and a kilometer is 1000 meters.

This means that as long as we know what factor of the base unit is indicated by a given SI prefix, we can convert between values with different prefixes by simply multiplying or dividing by a power of 10.


Convert 447 cm to m:

Since 1 centimeter is meters, we need to divide the value in centimeters by 100 to find it in meters:

447 cm ÷ 100 = 4.47 m