Units of Measure / How Many Ounces in a Pound

How Many Ounces in a Pound

Ounces1 and pounds2 are widely-used as units of weight measurement in the USA, Canada, Great Britain and some other countries. The ounce is especially popular in old cooking books. There are imperial and US ounces and the latter is 4% larger. You should not confuse dry ounces with fluid ones which are used to measure volume.

Are There 12 or 16 Ounces in One Pound?

The pound was once used almost in all the European countries, but it was replaced by grams after the adoption of the international metric system. Pounds and ounces are common units but if you ask people how many ounces there are in one pound, you can get two different answers – 12 or 16 ounces. And both of them will be right ones.

The point is that there are two main weight systems: Avoirdupois and Troy. According to the Avoirdupois Weight, one pound equals to 16 ounces. But the Troy Weight states that one pound is divided into 12 ounces. In the USA and Great Britain the avoirdupois pound is used (though you might have never heard its full name). So in these countries “sixteen” will be the right answer to the question, “How many ounces are there in a pound?”

There are also some other weight systems (Tower, Merchant, London, etc) that have their own definitions of this unit. The chart below will give help you to understand how many ounces, grains and grams are in each variant of the pound.

Metric Grams
1 Avoirdupois pound
1 Troy pound
1 Tower pound
1 Merchant pound
1 London pound

  1. Ounce (abbr. oz) is a widely-spread unit of mass or volume (fluid ounce), which is used in various systems and has several definitions. The most regular definition of this unit is equivalent to approximately 28 grams.
  2. Pound (abbr. lb) is a general unit of mass, which is used mostly in the USA, Great Britain, Canada and some other countries. It has many definitions, but the most known of them is equal to 454 metric grams.
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