Metric System. A system of measurement in which the meter is the fundamental unit. It was first adopted in France In the year 1800, and is now in use in most other civilized countries, except the English speaking countries, though universally adopted for scientific measurement. Its use is permitted in Great Britain, and was legalized in the United States in 1866. The meter, the unit of length, is the one ten-millionth part of the earth's meridian quadrant; that is, the distance from either pole to the equator, which equals just one-fourth of the earth's circumference. The meter is one ten-millionth part of this distance. Its length is 39.37 inches, or nearly 3 feet 3 3/8 inches. The following is a table of equivalents :

1 millimetre = 0.03937 inches.

1 centimetre = 1.3937 inches.

1 decimetre = 3.93708 inches.

1 metre = 3.2809 feet.

1 decametre = 10.9363 yards.

1 hectometre = 109.3633 yards.

1 kilometer = 0.62138 miles.