Definition of litre in English:


(US liter) (also l)


  • A metric unit of capacity, formerly defined as the volume of one kilogram of water under standard conditions, now equal to 1,000 cubic centimetres (about 1.75 pints)

    [as modifier] ‘a litre bottle of wine’
    • ‘He also inventoried his provisions: two burritos, one liter of water, and some candy bar crumbs.’
    • ‘Campaigners say just one litre can make a million litres of fresh water unfit to drink.’
    • ‘Before tax a litre of petrol is actually cheaper than a litre of bottled water.’
    • ‘A hydrant's minimum capacity must be 1,000 liters per minute.’
    • ‘When the roof is open, boot room is 208 litres, 63 litres more than the earlier model.’
    • ‘Paul drank almost six litres of water without counting swigs taken from bottles offered along the roadside.’
    • ‘He cut his tea back to one liter a day and did much better.’
    • ‘About four kilograms of pounded sorghum and eight kilograms of brown sugar are added to one hundred liters of water.’
    • ‘In an irrigated area, a litre of milk takes at least 500 litres of water to produce.’
    • ‘Burning fuel and debris were shoved out of the core before it was deluged with five million litres of water.’
    • ‘The result is extrapolated to 60 seconds and reported in liters per minute.’
    • ‘The standard household lavatory, we are told, uses 7.5 litres of water per flush.’
    • ‘You should then drink 1.5 liters per 1kg of weight lost.’
    • ‘Two 8,000 - liter water tanks are installed for use by local residents.’
    • ‘Who would care when a litre of petrol was cheaper than a litre of bottled water?’
    • ‘Elephants consume around 250 liters of clean water daily.’
    • ‘At least 0.4 liters of diesel was needed to produce one kilogram of tea.’
    • ‘He drank three liters of water a day so he would not dehydrate.’
    • ‘Recommendations run at about 1 liter per hour divided into 3-4 intakes.’
    • ‘The new pump should produce an additional 220,000 liters per hour.’


Late 18th century: from French, alteration of litron (an obsolete measure of capacity), via medieval Latin from Greek litra, a Sicilian monetary unit.