Definition of metric system in US English:

metric system


  • The decimal measuring system based on the meter, liter, and gram as units of length, capacity, and weight or mass. The system was first proposed by the French astronomer and mathematician Gabriel Mouton (1618–94) in 1670 and was standardized in France under the Republican government in the 1790s.

    • ‘Weights are given in the metric system (1 kilogram equals 2.2 pounds).’
    • ‘You see, Canadians use the metric system for units of measurement.’
    • ‘In the metric system, the base unit of weight is the gram; in the avoirdupois system, it's the pound.’
    • ‘The General Conference of Weights and Measurements in 1960 established a revised metric system as the ‘International System of Units’.’
    • ‘Indeed, it is only because the writer is well grounded in the use of Imperial units that the above correlations were noticed; the metric system of units completely obfuscates the connections here shown.’
    • ‘Or could we say that New York is not an international city because it still uses the English measurement system instead of the metric system?’
    • ‘Elaborated between 1790 and 1799, the decimal metric system of weights and measures was zealously promoted under Napoleon.’
    • ‘Doesnt it seem a little ridiculous that a metric system uses the ‘divine proportion’?’
    • ‘In the metric system the display shows kilograms and grams (g).’
    • ‘The metric system is a system of measurement of decimal units based on the meter.’
    • ‘In the 1790s the French officially adopted a metric system based on the length of a quadrant of the Earth's meridian.’
    • ‘Mouton stated that there was a marvellous regularity in nature which made a metric system of measurement based on nature fit in with human activity.’
    • ‘This doctrine has, however, recently been reconsidered in the case involving the so-called metric martyrs - traders who objected to the replacement of imperial measures of weight with the metric system.’
    • ‘Only a European could have concocted the metric system; instead of weights and measures which have their roots deep in human experience, some fellow in an office cooks up the thing and gets it imposed on the entire world.’
    • ‘They worked on the metric system and advocated a decimal base.’
    • ‘The metric system and the imperial system symbolize beautifully the conflict between the European and the Anglo-Saxon method of thought.’
    • ‘Thus it is very important that farmers selling livestock and other products start to think in terms of euro and in terms of the metric system of weights and measures such as kilos and litres.’
    • ‘This committee worked on the metric system and advocated a decimal base.’
    • ‘Nor is it my weight computed with the metric system.’
    • ‘The modern metric system of centimetres, kilogram, and litres, and the traditional Imperial system of inches, pounds, and pints are equally good measures of lengths, weights, and volumes.’


metric system

/ˈmɛtrɪk ˌsɪstəm/