centimeter sĕn´tĭmē˝tər [key], abbr. cm, unit of length equal to 0.01 meter , the basic unit of length in the metric system . The centimeter is the unit of length in the cgs system . It is approximately equal to 0.39 inch, or 1 inch equals about 2.54 centimeters. See weights and measures .

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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