1 foot: how many centimeters, meters, millimeters is it?

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The foot is one of the Imperial Units of length as well as U.S. customary units equal to 30.48 centimeters, 12 inches and 1/3 yard.

It is called ‘foot’ because it was originally based on the length of a person’s foot. Since ancient times body parts were popular points of reference for measuring. Some of the oldest units of length based on body parts, apart from the foot, include: the hand, finger, cubit (from the fingertip to the elbow).

In writing, “foot” is abbreviated to “ft”, “ft.” or simply an apostrophe [‘]. For example, height is sometimes written as 5’6” (= 5 feet and 6 inches).


12 in

1/3 yd

30.48 cm

0.3048 m

304.8 mm

Did you know?

Historically, a number of European countries used a “foot” as a unit of measurement. However, the exact length of a foot varied significantly depending on a country or even a town. In some cases, a foot was considered a unit of length equal to one’s own foot, so the measurements were not consistent between people.

It was only in 1959 that the foot got standardised. At that time USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia signed the International Yard and Pound Agreement. The treaty stands up to the present day and says that the foot is equal to 0.3048 meters.

Do you know any other units  based on the length of body parts?





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