What is Centigrade? - Definition & Conversion

Instructor: Allison Petrovic

Allison has experience teaching high school and college mathematics and has a master's degree in mathematics education.

Did you ever watch the weather forecast, or maybe read it in the newspaper? You may have seen that the temperature can be given in different scales. In this lesson, we will learn about the scale known as Centigrade!

Watching the Weather Forecast

If you are planning a picnic, it is probably a good idea to check the weather forecast before you go. You would most likely want the temperature to be warm, right? It would not be fun to have a picnic when it is cold outside!

So when you watch the weather forecast on the television, the temperature is given in degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius. Depending on whether the meteorologist gives the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius really just depends on where you live! Both Fahrenheit and Celsius are scales that are used to measure the temperature. Did you know Celsius used to be known as Centigrade?

Temperature in Centigrade

So let's talk about what Centigrade really means. Remember that Centigrade is the old name for Celsius. So you can say that Centigrade is basically a scale that is used to measure temperature in degrees. Let's talk about the scale!

Since Celsius used to be called Centigrade, Centigrade has the same scale as Celsius! So the freezing point of water is 0 degrees Centigrade, and the boiling point of water is 100 degrees Centigrade. So if you were to walk outside when it is 0 degrees Centigrade, it would be very cold! You would probably want to wear a large, heavy coat! Brrr! Now if you were to walk outside when it was 100 degrees Centigrade, you would probably want to find a fan or go swimming to cool off from all the heat!

Fahrenheit to Centigrade (Celsius)

Suppose that the weather forecast calls for a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit this Saturday. So how many degrees Centigrade would that be? Fahrenheit and Centigrade have different scales! So 70 degrees Fahrenheit is not the same temperature as 70 degrees Centigrade.

So how do we convert 70 degrees Fahrenheit to Centigrade? Find the picture labeled 'Fahrenheit to Centigrade Conversion' to see how to calculate this conversion. Each step is numbered.

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