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Milli (symbol m) is a unit prefix in the metric system denoting a factor of one thousandth (10-3).[1] Proposed in 1793,[2] and adopted in 1795, the prefix comes from the Latin mille, meaning one thousand (the Latin plural is milia). Since 1960, the prefix is part of the International System of Units (SI).

SI prefixes
Prefix Base 10 Decimal English word Adoption[nb 1] Etymology
Name Symbol Short scale Long scale Language Derived word
yotta Y  1024 1000000000000000000000000  septillion  quadrillion 1991 Greek eight[nb 2]
zetta Z  1021 1000000000000000000000  sextillion  trilliard 1991 Latin seven[nb 2]
exa E  1018 1000000000000000000  quintillion  trillion 1975 Greek six
peta P  1015 1000000000000000  quadrillion  billiard 1975 Greek five[nb 2]
tera T  1012 1000000000000  trillion  billion 1960 Greek four[nb 2], monster
giga G  109 1000000000  billion  milliard 1960 Greek giant
mega M  106 1000000  million 1873 Greek great
kilo k  103 1000  thousand 1795 Greek thousand
hecto h  102 100  hundred 1795 Greek hundred
deca da  101 10  ten 1795 Greek ten
 100 1  one -
deci d  10-1 0.1  tenth 1795 Latin ten
centi c  10-2 0.01  hundredth 1795 Latin hundred
milli m  10-3 0.001  thousandth 1795 Latin thousand
micro ?  10-6 0.000001  millionth 1873 Greek small
nano n  10-9 0.000000001  billionth  milliardth 1960 Greek dwarf
pico p  10-12 0.000000000001  trillionth  billionth 1960 Spanish peak
femto f  10-15 0.000000000000001  quadrillionth  billiardth 1964 Danish fifteen, Fermi[nb 3]
atto a  10-18 0.000000000000000001  quintillionth  trillionth 1964 Danish eighteen
zepto z  10-21 0.000000000000000000001  sextillionth  trilliardth 1991 Latin seven[nb 2]
yocto y  10-24  0.000000000000000000000001  septillionth  quadrillionth 1991 Greek eight[nb 2]
  1. ^ Prefixes adopted before 1960 already existed before SI. The introduction of the CGS system was in 1873.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Part of the beginning of the prefix was modified from the word it was derived from, ex: "peta" (prefix) vs "penta" (derived word).
  3. ^ The fermi was introduced earlier with the same symbol "fm", in which then the "f" became a prefix. The Danish word is used since it is vaguely spelled similar to fermi.

See also


  1. ^ A. Thompson and B. N. Taylor (2009-07-02). "Special Publication 811: NIST Guide to the SI, Chapter 4: The Two Classes of SI Units and the SI Prefixes". Physical Measurement Laboratory. Retrieved .CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ Commission temporaire de Poids & Mesures rêpublicaines, En exécution des Décrets de la Convention Nationale (1793). Instruction abrégée sur les mesures déduites de la grandeur de la Terre; uniformes pour toute la Rêpublique, et sur les Calculs relatifs à leur division décimale (in French) (Edition originale ed.). Paris, France: De l´imprimerie nationale exécutive du Louvre. Retrieved .

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