Decimeter - Definition with Examples

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What is Decimeter?

A decimeter is a unit of length in the metric system. The term “Deci” means one-tenth, and therefore decimetre means one-tenth of a meter. Since a meter is made up of 100 cm, one-tenth of 100 cm is 10 cm. Thus one decimeter measures 10 cm.  


The symbol used to write decimeter is dm.

decimeter 1

Scale showing 1 meter divided into 10 parts. Each part measures 1 decimeter.


Few conversions for decimeter are as follows:

  • 1 dm = 10 cm

  • 1 dm = 100 mm

  • 1 dm = 0.1 m


The type of problems for decimeter shall mostly involve the conversion of units. Following are some examples:

1.    How many decimeters do 5 meters include?


decimeter problem


1 m = 100 cm

Therefore, 5 m = 100 × 5 = 500 cm

Since, 1 dm =  0.1  m

Therefore, 500 cm will be 500 × 110

Hence, 5 m = 50 dm


2.   Convert  250 dm into centimetres


 1 dm = 10 cm

Therefore, 250 dm = 250 × 10

                = 2500 cm

The commonly used units of measurement are millimeter, centimeter, meter, and kilometer. A decimeter is not as widely used, but is an important unit. In real life, we rarely find measurements written in decimetre. Since one meter is not a very long length, it is easier to use 0.1 m or 0.5 m when the length is shorter than a meter.

  Fun Facts

  • Decimeter is a unit that is larger than millimeter and centimeter.

  • In the increasing order of units, decimeter is in the third position and further the units increase up to kilometers.


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