liter, abbr. l, unit of volume in the metric system, defined since 1964 as equal to 0.001 cubic meters, or 1 cubic decimeter. A cube that has each of its edges equal to 10 centimeters has a volume of 1 liter. The liter is equal to 1.057 liquid quarts, 0.908 dry quarts, and 61.024 cubic inches.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.