/kil"euh gram'/, n.1. a unit of mass equal to 1000 grams: the base SI unit of mass, equal to the mass of the international prototype of the kilogram, a platinum-iridium cylinder kept in Sèvres, France. Abbr.: kg2. a unit of force and weight, equal to the force that produces an acceleration of 9.80665 meters per second per second when acting on a mass of one kilogram. Abbr.: kgAlso, esp. Brit., kilogramme.[1790-1800; < F kilogramme. See KILO-, -GRAM2]
* * *▪ unit of measurementbasic unit of mass in the metric system, equal to the mass of the international prototype of the kilogram, a platinum-iridium cylinder kept at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures laboratory at Sèvres, France. A kilogram is very nearly equal (it was originally intended to be exactly equal) to the mass of 1,000 cubic cm of water. The pound is now defined as equal to 0.45359237 kg, exactly. As originally defined, the kg was represented in the late 18th century as a solid cylinder of platinum. Measurements of the mass of a volume of water proved to be imprecise and inconvenient to make, however, and the platinum artifact itself became the standard. It was superseded in 1889 by the present standard kilogram, also a solid cylinder, of height equal to its diameter, made of the same alloy as the standard metre bar then in use. See also International System of Units.
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