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What is Centimeter?

Centimeter also spelt as a centimetre, is a unit of length equivalent to 0.01 meter in the metric system. The SI symbol used to represent centimeters is cm. The centimeter is defined as the base unit of length in the old centimeter - gram - second (CGS) system of units.

Although for most of the physical quantities, SI prefixes for factors of 10³- like milli and kilo are mostly preferred by the technicians, the centimetre remains the standard unit of length for many daily life measurements. The centimeter is widely used to measure things that are too big for millimeters but too small for meters. A centimetre is close to the width of the fingernail of an average adult person.

Centimeter Scale

The centimeter-scale can be widely understood with the help of a ruler. A standard ruler measures up to 30 cm, as one shown below. When looking at the ruler, you will find cm along the top and inches (1 inch = 2.54 cm) along the bottom.

(Image will be uploaded soon)

The centimeter is frequently used to measure the small distance between objects or dimensions of small objects in real-life situations.

Centimeter Chart

A centimeter chart can be constructed to represent the conversion of units from centimeters to other units of measurements such as meters, inches, feet, etc. Using the centimeter chart, we can easily learn the conversion of units from centimeters to other units of measurement. Let us now discuss, how to convert cm to inches, centimeters to feet, and centimeters to meters.

Centimeters to Inches Conversion

As we know, 1 inch is equivalent to 2.54 cm in the metric system.

1 inch = 2.54 cm


1 cm = 1/2.54 inches

Hence, to convert cm to inches, we will divide the centimeters value by 2.54.

We can also convert centimeters to inches by multiplying the centimeters value by 0.3937 because one centimeter is approximately equal to 0.3937 inches.

For Example:

To convert 10 cm to inches, we will either divide 10 cm by 2.54 or multiply 10 cm by 0.3937 to get the value in inches i.e 10 / 2.54 = 3.93700 inches or 10 0.3937 = 3.937 inches.

Hence, 10 cm = 3.9370 inches.

Centimeters to Inches Conversion Chart

Centimeters (cms)

Inches in Decimals

Inches in Fractions


0.3937 in

25/64 in


0.7874 in

25/32 in


1.1811 in

1 (3/16) in


1.5748 in

1 (37/64) in


1.9685 in

1 (31/32) in


2.3622 in

2 (23/64) in


2.7559 in

2 (3/4) in


3.1496 in

3 ( 5/32) in


3.5433 in

3 (35/64) in


3.9370 in

3 ( 15/16) in

Centimeters to Meters Conversion

To convert a centimeter measurement to a meters measurement, we will divide the centimeter value by 100 because 1 centimeter is equal to 1/ 100 meters.

For Example:

To convert 500 centimeters into meters, we will divide 500 cm by 100 i.e. 500/100 = 5m

Hence,  500 cm = 5 m.

Centimeters to Meters Conversion Chart

Centimeters (Cm)

Meters (m)


0.01 m


0.02 m


0.05 m


0.1 m


0.5 m


1 m


5 m


10 m

Centimeters to Feet Conversion

To convert a centimeter measurement to a feet measurement, we will multiply the centimeter value by 0.0328084 because 1 cm is approximately equal to 0.0328084 feet.

For Example:

To convert 5 centimetres into feets, we will multiply 5 cm by 0.0328084 i.e. 5 0.0328084 = 0.164042 feet.

Hence,  5 cm = 0.164042 feet.

Centimeters to Feet Conversion Chart

Centimeters (cm)

Feet (ft)





















Fun Facts

  • The word “centimeter” is derived from the French centimeter, a combination of the Latin word centum, which means hundred, and the French word meter.

  • The word centimeter was introduced in the year 1801 and has been widely used since then.

  • The value of one imperial foot is equivalent to 30.5 cm approximately.

  • The value of a United States Nickel (5 cm) coin is approximately 2 cm in diameter. 

Solved Examples

1. What is the value of 30 cm in inches?


As we know, 1 cm = 0.3937 inches

To get the value of 30 cm in inches, we will multiply 30 cm by 0.3937.

=  30 × 0.3937

= 11.811 inches

Hence, 30 cm is equal to 11.811 inches

2. How to convert 43 cm into feet?


As we know, 1 cm = 0.0328084 ft

To convert 43 cm into feet, we will multiply 43 cm by 0.0328084 feet.

=  43 × 0.0328084

= 1.4107612 inches

Hence, 43 cm is equal to 1.4107612 inches.

3. What is the value of 50 cm in meters?


As we know, 1 cm = 1/100 m

To get the value of 100 cm in meters, we will divide 50 cm by 100.

=  50/100

= 0.5 meters

Hence, 50 cm is equal to 0.5 meters.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What are the Different Uses of a Centimeter?

Ans. The different uses of centimeter are discussed below:

  • The centimeter in the CGS system is used to measure capacitance, where the value of 1 cm of capacitance is equal to 1.113 × 10 farads.

  • The centimeter is often used to report the level of rainfall as measured by a gauge system.

  • The centimeter is used to denote the second moment of areas.

  • Centimeters in maps are used to make conversions from map scale to real-world scale ( kilometers).

Q2. Explain the Conversion Between Centimeters and Meters.

Ans. To convert centimeters into meters, simply divide the numbers of meters by 100 and change the unit to cm. To convert meters into centimeters, simply multiply the numbers of centimeters by 100 and change the unit to m.

Q3. What are the Different Things that can be Measured in Centimeters?

Ans. The different things that can be measured in centimeters are:

  • The waist size of a pair of jeans can be measured in the unit cm.

  • The radius of car’s tyres can be measured in centimeter.

  • The distance between a person's eyes can be measured in centimetre.

  • Length of the fish that has been caught can be measured in centimeters.