Statute miles

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noun - A statute mile is a unit of length, most commonly 5,280 feet (1,760 yards, or about 1,609.3 meters). The statute mile is most often called a Mile or Land mile to distinguish it from the Nautical mile (1,852 meters, about 6,076.1 feet).

There have also been many historical miles and similar units in other systems that may be translated as miles in English; they have varied in length between one and fifteen kilometers.

The exact length of the Land mile varied slightly among English-speaking countries until an international agreement in 1959 established the yard as exactly 0.9144 meters, giving a mile of exactly 1,609.344 meters. The United States adopted this international mile for most purposes, but retained the pre-1959 mile for some land-survey data, terming it the US survey mile. In the US, Statute mile formally refers to the survey mile, which is about 3.2 mm (⅛ inch) longer than the international mile; however, for most purposes, the difference is insignificant, and statute mile can be used for either the survey mile or the international mile.

The use of the mile as a unit of measurement is now largely confined to the United Kingdom and the US. However, many open water swims use this distance such as the Flowers Sea Swim, Midmar Mile, Great Swims, Monaco Mile, and RCP Tiburon Mile.


The word mile originally derives from the Old English word mīl which in turn was ultimately derived from the Latin word millia meaning "thousand". The English mile is derived from the Latin mille passuum (one thousand paces) but in other countries the word "mile" (meile in German, mijl in Dutch) was derived from the Latin miliarium spatium (one thousand "intervals").

Roman mile

The Romans were first to use the unit of long distance mille passuum (literally "a thousand paces" in Latin, where each pace was two steps). It denoted a distance of 1,000 paces or 5,000 Roman feet, and is estimated to be about 1,479 meters (1,617 yards). This unit, now known as the Roman mile, spread throughout the Roman Empire, often with modifications to fit local systems of measurements.

Arab mile

The Arab mile (or Arabic mile) was a unit of length used by medieval Muslim geographers. Its precise length is uncertain, but is believed to be around 1925 meters.

Danish mil

The Danish mil (traditional) was 24,000 Danish feet or 7532.5 meters. Sometimes it was interpreted as exactly 7.5 kilometers. It is the same as the north German Meile (below0.


Meile was a traditional unit in German-speaking countries. It was 24,000 German feet; the SI equivalent was 7586 meters in Austria or 7532.5 meters in northern Germany. There was a version known as the geographische Meile, which was 4 Admiralty nautical miles, 7,412.7 meters, or 1/15 of a degree of latitude.


In Norway and Sweden, a mil is a unit of length equal to 10 kilometers and commonly used in everyday language. However in more formal situations, such as on road signs and when there is risk of confusion with English miles, kilometers are used instead. The traditional Swedish mil spanned the range from 6000-14,485 meters, depending on province. It was however standardized in 1649 to 36,000 Swedish feet, or 10.687 km.[5] The Norwegian mil was 11.298 kilometers. When the metric system was introduced in the Norwegian-Swedish union in 1889, it standardized the mil to exactly 10 kilometers.


The Portuguese milha was a unit of length used in Portugal and Brazil, before the adoption of the metric system. It was equal to 2087.3 metres.


The Russian milya (русская миля) was a traditional Russian unit of distance, equal to 7 verst, or 7.468 kilometers.

Hrvatska milja

The Hrvatska mile (Croatian mile) is 11,130 meters = 11.13 km = 1/10 of equator's degree,[8] first used by Jesuit Stjepan Glavač on a map from 1673.

Banska milja

The banska milja (also called hrvatska milja) (mile of Croatian Ban, Croatian mile) was 7586 meters = 7.586 kilometers, or 24,000 feet (the same as the Austrian mile).

Scots mile

The Royal Mile in Edinburgh is roughly a Scots mile long. The Royal Mile in Edinburgh, i.e., from the Castle down to Holyrood Abbey, is approximately the same length as the Scots mile. English miles were imposed in 1824 by an Act of Parliament. It is equal to 320 falls or 8 Scots furlongs or 1,807 meters or 1,976 yards or 1.12 miles.

The Scots mile was longer than the English mile, but varied in length from place to place. It was formally abolished by an Act of the Parliament of Scotland in 1685, and again by the Treaty of Union with England in 1707, but continued in use as a customary unit during the 18th century. It was obsolete by the time of its final abolition by the Weights and Measures Act 1824. An estimate of its length can be made from other Scots units: in Scots, the rod was usually called the fall or faw, and was equal to six ells of 37 inches.[18] As there are 320 rods in a mile and 1.0016 Imperial inches in a Scots inch, this would make the Scots mile equal to 5,920 Scots feet (1,976.5 imperial yards, 1.12 statute miles). Other estimates are similar.

Irish mile

The Irish mile was longer still. In Elizabethan times, four Irish miles was often equated to five English, though whether the statute mile or the "old English" mile is unclear. By the seventeenth century, it was 2,240 yards (6,720 feet, 1.27 statute miles, 2,048 meters).

Statute mile

The statute mile was so-named because it was defined by an English Act of Parliament in 1592, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. It was defined as being 1,760 yards (5,280 feet, about 1609 meters). For surveying, the statute mile is divided into eight furlongs; each furlong into ten chains; each chain into four rods (also known as poles or perches); and each rod into 25 links. This makes the rod equal to 5½ yards or 16½ feet in both Imperial and US usage.

The "international mile" of 1,760 international yards is exactly 1,609.344 metres.

The US survey mile is 5,280 survey feet, or about 1609.3472 meters. In the US, statute mile formally refers to the survey mile, but for most purposes, the difference between the survey mile and the international mile is insignificant — one international mile is exactly 0.999998 of a US survey mile—so statute mile can be used for either. But in some cases, such as in the US State Plane Coordinate Systems (SPCSs), which can stretch over hundreds of miles,[44] the accumulated difference can be significant, so it is important to note that the reference is to the US survey mile.

Metric mile

Metric mile is used in sports such as track and field athletics and speed skating to denote a distance of 1500 meters (about ,921 ft).

Nautical mile

The Nautical mile was originally defined as one minute of arc along a meridian arc of the Earth. It is a convenient reference, since it is fairly constant at all latitudes, in contrast with degrees of longitude which vary from 60 NM at the equator to zero at the poles.

Navigators use dividers to step off the distance between two points on the navigational chart, then place the open dividers against the minutes-of-latitude scale at the edge of the chart, and read off the distance in nautical miles. Since it is now known that the Earth is not perfectly spherical but an oblate spheroid, the length derived from this method varies slightly from the equator to the poles. For instance, using the WGS84 Ellipsoid, the commonly accepted Earth model for many purposes today, one minute of latitude at the WGS84 equator is 6,087 feet and at the poles is 6,067 feet. On average, it is about 6,076 feet (about 1,852 meters or 1.15 statute miles).

In the United States, the nautical mile was defined in the nineteenth century as 6,080.2 feet (1,853.249 m), whereas in the United Kingdom, the Admiralty nautical mile was defined as 6,080 feet (1,853.184 m) and was approximately one minute of latitude in the latitudes of the south of the UK. Other nations had different definitions of the nautical mile, but it is now internationally defined to be exactly 1,852 metres.


The nautical mile per hour is known as the Knot. Nautical miles and knots are almost universally used for aeronautical and maritime navigation, because of their relationship with degrees and minutes of latitude and the convenience of using the latitude scale on a map for distance measuring.

Data mile

The data is used in radar-related subjects and is equal to 6,000 feet (1.8288 kilometers).

Radar mile

The radar mile is a unit of time (in the same way that the light year is a unit of distance), equal to the time required for a radar pulse to travel a distance of two miles (one mile each way). Thus, the radar statute mile is 10.8 μs and the radar nautical mile is 12.4 μs. [edit] Abbreviation and symbol


Abbreviations for mile include mi, ml, m, M.


The mile is still used in a variety of idioms. These include:

- A country mile is used colloquially to denote 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
- Missed by a mile (missed by a wide margin)
- Talk a mile a minute (speak at a rapid rate)
- To go the extra mile (to put in extra effort)
- Miles away (lost in thought, or daydreaming)
- Milestone (an event indicating significant progress)


Mile, Land mile

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