Units of Measure / How Many Centimeters in an Inch

How Many Centimeters in an Inch

Converting some units from different measurement systems can be rather troublesome, but you need to do it pretty often. For example, you may want to count how many centimeters are in the 42” diagonal of the television set. If you know how to do it, you will need no more than a couple of seconds to make the calculation.

Centimeters and Inches

The centimeter1 is a common unit of length from the metric system. It is equal to 10 millimeters and 0.01 meter. In other words, one meter consists of 100 centimeters. These measurements belong to the International System of Units2, and the meter is the base length unit of the ISU. Nowadays almost all countries in the world have fully embraced meters and centimeters as standard units of length.

But the United States and some other countries have not adopted the ISU, so they use inches3, feet and yards to measure length. Every American knows that there are 12 inches in one foot, and one yard has 36 inches. But transforming inches to centimeters is not so easy. Very often it causes confusion, and many people need a simple and understandable method for converting these types of measurements.

How Many Centimeters in an Inch

In 1959, the length of the international yard was officially defined to be 0.9144 meters. It means that the inch is equivalent to 25.4 millimeters, or 2.54 centimeters. So, if you want to convert inches into centimeters, you just have to multiply the number by 2.54. For example, if the diagonal of your television set is 42 inches, it means that it has 106.68 centimeters.

On the other part, you can convert centimeters into inches by dividing the number by 2.54. In this way you can count that the length of a half a meter stick is 19.68 inches, though you may need a calculator to perform such a task.

The following table will help you to convert centimeters and inches into some other units of length.

One centimeter
One inch
One foot
One yard
One meter

  1. Centimeter (British English: centimetre; abbr. cm) is a metric length unit, which is equal to 1/100 meter and 10 millimeters.
  2. Inch (abbr. in, symbol ”) is a length unit in various systems. There are 12 inches in one foot and 36 inches in one yard. The international inch, accepted in the USA, equals to about 2.54 centimeters.
  3. The International System of Units (abbr. ISU, SI) is a modern system of measurement units, which is most widely used in the world. In consists of seven basic units: meters, kilograms, ampere, second, kelvin, mole, and candela).
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