What is Length?

Length can be defined as the measurement or extent of something from end to end. In other words, it is the larger of the two or the highest of three dimensions of objects. For example, a rectangle has its dimensions as the breadth and length. Also, the length can be defined as a quantity with dimension distance in the International System of Quantities.

 

What is the Unit of Length?

As defined in the previous section, the length is the measure of something. The base unit for length in the International System of Units (SI) system, is the meter and it is abbreviated as m. This can be done when the length is expressed using suitable units, such as the length of a table is 2 meters or 200 cm, the length of a string is 15 meters, and so on. Thus, the units of measurement help in understanding the given parameters in numeral format.

 

Units of Length Conversion

In the metric system, length or distance is expressed in terms of kilometers (km), meters (m), decimeter (dm), centimeters (cm), millimeters (mm). It is possible to convert units from km to m or from m to cm or from cm to mm and so on.

For measuring large lengths the unit kilometer is used as the unit of length. The relationship between different units of length is given below:


Units for the Measurement of Length

10 millimeters (mm)     ---1 centimeter (cm)

10 centimeters     ----1 decimeter (d)

10 decimeters               --- 1 meter (m)

10 meters               -----1 dekameter (da)

10 dekameter     ---1 hectometer (h)

10 hectometers            ---1 kilometers (km)


The conversion of units from one unit to another unit is essential while solving many problems to understand the various parameters. Below are a few conversions which are basic and will help in problem-solving.

 

Length Conversion Table

km to m

m to cm

cm to mm

km

m

m

cm

cm

mm

1

1000

1

100

1

10

2

2000

2

200

2

20

3

3000

3

300

3

30

4

4000

4

400

4

40

5

5000

10

1000

10

100

10

10000

50

5000

50

500

100

100000

100

10000

100

1000


Metric System and Customary System

With the assortment of various units, the metric system seems quite a logical system as compared to the known customary system, and converting units in the metric system is much simpler than converting them in the customary system.

The United States is the last remaining nation, which is still to adopt the concept of the metric system. However, it is an easy task to convert units in metric to the customary system by using the given conversion.

1 meter/metre (m) = 39.4 inches = 1.09 yards;

1 yard = 0.92 m

1 centimeter (cm) = 0.39 inches;

1 inch = 2.54 cm

 

What is the Difference Between Length and Height?

You can go through the below comparison chart which helps you to differentiate the dimensions such as length and height and understand it in a better way.

 

Comparison

Length

Height

Actual Meaning

The measurement of an object from one point to another point.

Height is used to measure an object from the top to bottom

Dimension

It is measured in the most-extended dimension.

It measures the dimension that would be up in any orientation.

Axis of measurement

Is a measurement in the horizontal axis.

Is a measurement in the vertical axis.

Used for

The length determines how long an object is.

Height is used for determining how high the object takes base as a reference.

Type of object

Can be one, two or three-dimensional object.

Is usually measured for 3-dimensional objects.

Examples

Line, square, rectangle, cube, etc.

Cube, cylinder, etc.


Measurements of Length

Measurements of length and distance are done in various ways. Did you know that you can use the average human body as a means to measure? For example, the foot is around 25 – 30 cm. This particular unit of measurement is still in use nowadays. We also use units like yards and inches which are still in use but they are not the standard units of length measurements.

 

What Is Distance?

The distance can be defined as the product of time and speed and it can be represented as follows:

 

d=s×t

 

Where,

  • d is equal to the distance travelled in m

  • t is equal to the time taken to cover the distance in s

  • s is equal to the speed in m/s (metre per second)

Metric Units of Distance

The most commonly used units of measurement of length are as follows:

  • Millimetre

  • Centimetre

  • Metre

  • Kilometre


  Fun Facts about Lengths

  • The word length comes from middle English ‘lengthe’ and also from old English ‘lengðu’ which means — property of being long or the property of being extended in one direction.

  • The metric system of measuring length was first adopted in the country of France and is currently used by around 95% of the world population. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question 1: Is Length Always the Longest Dimension?

Answer: Length: If you choose to use the word length, it should refer to the longest dimension of the rectangle. Think of how you would describe the distance along a road: it is the long-distance, that is the length of the road.

Question 2: What is Length Width?

Answer: Width or breadth usually refers to a shorter dimension when the length is the longest one. Length is defined as the measure of one spatial dimension, whereas area is a measure of two dimensions (length squared) and volume is a measure of three dimensions (length cubed).

Question 3: What Comes First Length or Height?

Answer: For example, when referring to blueprints or the size of a room, the dimensions are listed with width first and length second. Likewise, when measuring windows, the width comes first then the height of the window. Conversely, when expressing the measurements of a painting on canvas, the height comes first then the width of the canvas.

Question 4: What's the Difference Between Length and Height?

Answer: The difference between length and height is very precise, as length denotes how long the shape is and height denotes how tall it is. Length is the horizontal measurement in a plane whereas height is the vertical measurement.