How many metres or kilometres is 1 mile?

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The English mile is one of the Imperial Units of length equal to 1.609344 km or 1760 yds. It is abbreviated to ‘mi’. In the past, ‘m.’ used to be a short for the mile but when spelled this way it got confused with the metre: ‘m’.

Converting miles to kilometres (or the other way round) is especially useful when travelling to, e.g., the Continental Europe, where the road distances are indicated in kilometres only. Similarly, European road traffic speed signs and speedometers are expressed in kilometres per hour (km/h) unlike in UK, where miles per hour (mph) are the main units, sometimes accompanied by km/h (as in case of car speedometers, which indicate speed in mph on the outer scale and in km/h on the inner one).


1 mile


1.609344 km

1609.344 m


1760 yds

5280 ft.


The English mile is not the only unit of length known by this name. The original Roman mile (mille passus: “thousand paces”; where the “pace” was counted as every other step) gave rise to different units known as “mile”. Some of the historical miles include: Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Hungarian, Irish, Scots, Welsh miles. Another popular unit is the nautical mile (= 1852m or about 6 076.1 ft.).

Nautical mile per hour is known as the knot.

Did you know?

A milestone is a road marker which originated, just as the idea of a mile itself, in the Roman Empire. The Roman soldiers who marched across Europe marked every thousandth pace with a stone. At present, milestones are still used as indicators of distance in a number of countries such as UK, USA (famous Zero Milestone in Washington D.C.), Australia, India or Zimbabwe.

The milestone also functions as an idiom, meaning a great progress or breakthrough. E.g., a phrase “to reach a milestone in one’s life” is used when speaking about an important event or point in life such as wedding, birth of a child, graduation etc.

There is a great variety of other idioms including the mile. How many can you think of? Write them down in the comments below!