What is a Kilometer?

Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Kilometers are used to measure long distances. In this lesson, you will learn all about how many meters and centimeters are in a kilometer. You will also see how they are used to measure distances!

A Long Hike in the Woods

Imagine that you and a friend have been hiking in the woods all day. Suddenly, you come to a fork in the road! Oh no! You are both very tired. You want to get home as quickly as possible. There are two routes that you and your friend can take home. One is 1,000 meters. The other is 1 kilometer long. Which one would you take? The shortest one right? Well, did you know that both paths are the same length?! How interesting is that? Let's learn why this is!

What is a Kilometer?

A kilometer is a unit of length that is equal to 1,000 meters. So we can say that 1 kilometer = 1,000 meters. This term is easy to remember if you keep in mind that the prefix, kilo, is a Greek word that means thousand. Kilometers are usually abbreviated using the letters km. So instead of writing the distance to grandma's house is 2 kilometers, you can write 2 km. Kilometers are typically used to measure long distances. So, if you had to measure the distance between New York and California, you would probably use kilometers!

2 Kilometers = 2000 Meters

The Metric System

A kilometer is a measurement of length used in the metric system. The metric system is a system of measurement that uses the meter as the basis for measuring length. The metric system is used in many countries, except the United States! In the United States, we often measure long distances in miles. One kilometer is equal to about 0.62 miles.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account