Meaning of kilometre in English:



  • A metric unit of length equal to 1,000 metres (approximately 0.62 miles)

    ‘the area is about 40 kilometres southwest of downtown Las Vegas’
    • ‘the fire covered an area of roughly a square kilometre’
    • ‘A meter is about three feet and three inches and a kilometer equals about six tenths of a mile.’
    • ‘As with metres and kilometres, we need some new units, or we'd need a lot of zeroes!’
    • ‘Next we will be having our speedometers changed from miles per hour to kilometres per hour.’
    • ‘Families then move a few miles or kilometers away to an area richer in resources.’
    • ‘It seems to me like if it takes more kilometers to make a mile, then it should take more kilograms to make a pound.’
    • ‘Easier, but not easy, and still only around a billionth of a millimetre over five million kilometres.’
    • ‘The hole it would leave would be two kilometres long and one kilometre wide.’
    • ‘It is one kilometre wide by a kilometre and a half long and the chicks are protected from predators by electrified wire fencing.’
    • ‘The appellant was informed that he had been clocked at 97 kilometers in a 50 kilometer per hour zone.’
    • ‘It ought to be pointed out that calculating passenger kilometres is an inexact science.’
    • ‘In the prairies where they live, they can be seen for a kilometer and a half (nearly a mile).’
    • ‘Selecting kilometres will give you a countdown in metres - you can't have a mixture of both.’
    • ‘Once in a while, the funnel of air drops from the sky - it can be as narrow as a few metres across or as wide as two kilometres.’
    • ‘The scale of alteration can vary in extent from less than a centimetre to many tens of kilometres.’
    • ‘What he calls a crack is more like a canyon, at least 300 metres deep up to a kilometre long yet only a metre wide.’
    • ‘The event consisted of a five and ten kilometre run and walk as well as a one kilometre for the very young, the old and the not so fit.’
    • ‘Islands of ice kilometers long and up to two metres thick are common here.’
    • ‘They will move around about a quarter of a kilometre an hour and if you measure their rate of moving, they have small home ranges.’
    • ‘This is typically displayed in minutes per mile or minutes per kilometer.’
    • ‘People drive in kilometers, fill their gas tanks by litres and heat their homes in degrees centigrade.’



/ˈkɪləˌmiːtə/ /kɪˈlɒmɪtə/


There are two possible pronunciations for kilometre: one with the stress on the ki- and the other with the stress on the -lo-. The first is traditionally considered correct, with a stress pattern similar to other units of measurement such as centimetre. The second pronunciation, which originated in US English and is now also very common in British English, is still regarded as incorrect by some people, especially in British English


Late 18th century from French kilomètre(see kilo-, metre).