|Unit system||English unit|
|Symbol||mi or m|
|1 mi in ...||... is equal to ...|
|SI units||1609.344 m|
|nautical units||0.86898 nmi|
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 | change source]
In the US and the UK the word mile usually means the statute mile.
Nautical mile[change | change 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 | change 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 | change 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.
Idioms[change | change source]
Even in English-speaking countries that use the metric system (for example, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand), the mile is still used in many idioms. These include:
- A country mile is used colloquially to mean a very long distance.
- "A miss is as good as a mile" (failure by a narrow margin is no better than any other failure)
- "Give him an inch and he'll take a mile" – a corruption of "Give him an inch and he'll take an ell" (the person in question will become greedy if shown generosity)
- "Missed by a mile" (missed by a wide margin)
- "Go a mile a minute" (move very fast)
- "Talk a mile a minute" (speak very fast)
- "To go the extra mile" (to put in extra effort)
- "Miles away" (lost in thought, or daydreaming)
- "Milestone" (an event showing a lot of progress)
References[change | change source]
- ↑ Concise Oxford English Dictionary (5th edition; 1964). Oxford University Press.
- ↑ John Heywood (1562). The proverbs, epigrams, and miscellanies of John Heywood ... Print. for subscribers, by the Early English Drama Society. pp. 95–. Retrieved 1 December 2011.