Cubic meter

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One cubic meter of concrete (representing the world annual production per inhabitant)

The cubic metre (US spelling: cubic meter, symbol: ) is the SI derived unit of volume. It is the volume of a cube with edges one metre in length. An alternative name, which allowed a different usage with metric prefixes, was the stère. Another alternative name, not widely used any more, is the kilolitre.


1 cubic metre is equivalent to:

A cubic metre of pure water at the temperature of maximum density (3.98 °C) and standard atmospheric pressure (101.325 kPa) has a mass of 1000 kg, or one tonne. At 0 °C, the freezing point of water, it is slightly less, 999.972 kilograms.

It is sometimes abbreviated to cu m, m3, m^3 or m**3 when superscript characters or markup are not available/accessible (i.e. in some typewritten documents and postings in Usenet newsgroups).

Abbreviated CBM in the freight business and MTQ (or numeric code 49) in international trade.

Multiples and submultiples

See 1 E-3 m³ for a comparison with other volumes.


Cubic decameter
the volume of a cube of side length one decametre (10 m)
equal to a megalitre
1 dam³ = 1,000 m³ = 1 Ml
Cubic hectometre
the volume of a cube of side length one hectometre (100m)
equal to a gigalitre
1 hm³ = 1,000,000 m³ = 1 Gl
Cubic kilometre
the volume of a cube of side length one kilometre (1,000 m)
equal to a petalitre
1 km³ = 1,000,000,000 m³ = 1 Pl


Cubic decimeter
the volume of a cube of side length one decimetre (0.1 m)
equal to a litre
1 dm³ = 0.001 m³ = 1 l
Cubic centimetre[2]
the volume of a cube of side length one centimetre (0.01 m)
equal to a millilitre
1 cm³ = 0.000001 m³ = 1 ml
Cubic millimetre
the volume of a cube of side length one millimetre (0.001 m)
equal to a microlitre
1 mm³ = 0.000000001 m³ = 1 µl


  1. From 1901 to 1964 the litre was defined as the volume of one kilogram of pure water at 4°C and 760 millimetres of mercury pressure. During this time, a litre was about 1.000028 dm³. In 1964 the original definition was reverted to.
  2. The cubic centimetre is the base unit of volume of the CGS system of units. The colloquial abbreviations "cc" and "ccm" are not SI but are common in some contexts such as cooking, engine displacement and medicine.


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