Mile is the name of several units of length; today, one mile is mainly equal to about 1609 metres on land and 1852 metres at sea and in the air, but see below for the details.

Table of contents
1 Current definitions
2 History
3 See also
4 External Link

Current definitions

The meanings of mile that are commonly used today are:


Throughout history many units of length named 'mile' have been used, with widely differing definitions, originating with the Roman mile of approximately 1479 metres. A Roman mile consisted of 1000 'double steps', or two strides by a Roman soldier. The word mile is derived from the word millia passuum, a thousand paces. Along the roads built by the Romans throughout Europe, it was common to erect a stone every mile to announce the distance to Rome, the so-called milestones.

In navigation, the geographical mile was commonly used, defined as 1 minute of arc along the Earth's equator, approximately equal to 1855 metres.

The name statute mile goes back to Queen Elizabeth I of England who redefined the mile from 5000 feet to 5280 feet by statute in 1593.

When the international mile was agreed upon in 1959, the survey mile was retained for measurements derived from US geodetic surveys.

In Denmark and most of Germany the mile in the 19th century was an approx. 7.5 km geographical mile (determined by 4 minutes of arc) specified by Ole RÝmer. In parts of Germany there also existed an exact 7.5 km metric mile variant, but it mostly went out of use at the beginning of the 20th century. The Ole RÝmer mile was for a long time used as a sea mile in Scandinavia, but was in the middle of the 20th century replaced by the international nautical mile. The international nautical mile is still often referred to by traditionalist Scandinavians as a quarter mile.

See also

External Link