Mile

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A mile is a unit of length. There are many different kinds of mile but mile on its own usually means the statute mile.

Statute mile[change | edit source]

In the US and the UK the word mile usually means the statute mile.

Feet Yard Chain Furlong Mile Kilometres
5,280 1,760 80 8 1 1.609344

Nautical mile[change | edit source]

The nautical mile is used for sea or air travel.

The nautical mile was originally defined as one minute of arc along a line of longitude of the Earth. There are 60 minutes of arc in one degree or arc (60' = 1°). So there were 10,800 nautical miles from the North Pole to the South Pole.

Now the nautical mile is defined as 1,852 metres.

1 nautical mile = 1,852 metres (by definition)
≈ 6,076 feet
≈ 1.151 statute miles

The speed of a ship that travels one nautical mile in one hour is called one knot

Roman mile[change | edit source]

The mile was first used by the Romans. It comes from the Latin phrase mille passus (plural: milia passuum). This means "one thousand paces". A pace is the distance each foot moves when taking one step.

1 Roman mile = 1,000 Roman paces (by definition)
≈ 1,479 metres
≈ 4,852 feet

Other miles[change | edit source]

Different miles have been used throughout history in various parts of the world. In Norway and Sweden, for example, a mil is a unit of length which is equal to 10 kilometres.