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centimeter (sĕnˈtĭmēˌtər) [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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