Browse Definitions:

centimeter (cm)

The centimeter (abbreviation, cm) is a unit of displacement (distance or length) in the cgs (centimeter/gram/second) system of units. The cm is equivalent to 0.01 meter, and there are about 2.54 centimeters in one linear inch.

In the metric system, power-of-10 prefix multipliers facilitate the derivation of other, often more convenient, distance units from the centimeter. One meter (m) is equal to 100 cm, one millimeter (mm) is equal to 0.1 cm, and one kilometer (km) is equal to 100,000 (105) cm. These units are found in nonscientific as well as scientific literature. Smaller units are the realm of the scientist and engineer. One micrometer (symbolized µm or µ), also called a micron, is equal to 0.0001 (10-4) cm. One nanometer (nm) is equal to 10-7 cm. One Angström unit (symbolized Ä) is equal to 10-8 cm, or 0.1 nm.

One centimeter is the distance traveled by a ray of electromagnetic (EM) energy through a vacuum in 3.33564095 x 10-11 of a second. The centimeter and its kin are used to specify the wavelengths of EM fields, particularly at ultra-high and microwave radio frequencies. The so-called radio spectrum occupies an informally defined range of wavelengths from roughly 1 mm to several tens of kilometers. A 300-cm radio wave falls near the middle of the standard FM (frequency-modulation) broadcast band; a 1-cm radio wave corresponds to a frequency of approximately 30 gigahertz (GHz). The range of visible light wavelengths is from approximately 390 nm (violet) to 770 nm (red). The speed of EM-field propagation in a vacuum, to nine significant figures, is 2.99792458 x 1010 centimeters per second.

Also see displacement, meter, prefix multipliers, and International System of Units (SI).

This was last updated in January 2017

Continue Reading About centimeter (cm)

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.


File Extensions and File Formats


  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...


  • cloud ecosystem

    A cloud ecosystem is a complex system of interdependent components that all work together to enable cloud services.

  • cloud services

    Cloud services is an umbrella term that may refer to a variety of resources provided over the internet, or to professional ...

  • uncloud (de-cloud)

    The term uncloud describes the action or process of removing applications and data from a cloud computing platform.


  • federated identity management (FIM)

    Federated identity management (FIM) is an arrangement that can be made among multiple enterprises to let subscribers use the same...

  • cross-site scripting (XSS)

    Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of injection security attack in which an attacker injects data, such as a malicious script, ...

  • firewall

    In computing, a firewall is software or firmware that enforces a set of rules about what data packets will be allowed to enter or...




  • bad block

    A bad block is an area of storage media that is no longer reliable for storing and retrieving data because it has been physically...

  • all-flash array (AFA)

    An all-flash array (AFA), also known as a solid-state storage disk system, is an external storage array that uses only flash ...

  • volume manager

    A volume manager is software within an operating system (OS) that controls capacity allocation for storage arrays.


  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.