# Inches to Centimeters – Definition with Examples

reviewed by Jessica Kaminski

Updated on October 4, 2024

It’s time for more fun and engaging math learning with Brighterly!

Today, we’re going to be talking about the inch measurement and comparing it to centimeters. Both are common measurements that you’ll likely use in your daily life.

This article will cover the inch definition, how long an inch is, things that are an inch and how to convert inches to centimeters. We’ll also share 1 inch examples, practice questions and worksheets so you can test your knowledge!

## What is an inch?

An inch is a unit of measurement you might have seen before, perhaps on a ruler in school. It’s part of the imperial measuring system and is used primarily in the US and the UK. We cover the full inches definition below.

You may see the inch denotation used to represent measurements in inches too. The symbol of inch is “, so the one inch measurement is 1”, 2 inches is 2” and so on.

### Inch: definition

The inch measurement is a common unit of length used in the US. It’s often used to measure smaller lengths, where sometimes the centimeter is also used. The original inches meaning was equivalent to three barleycorns!

## How long is 1 inch?

A 1 inch measurement is exactly 2.54 cm long, so for every inch, you have just over two and a half centimeters in comparison. The word “inch” originated from the Latin word “uncia”, which meant one-twelfth of a foot or a third of a palm, so an inch is also 1/12 of a foot!

## Inch to centimeter conversion

If you’re more familiar with centimeters as a unit of measurement, you might want to know how to convert inches to centimeters. This can be especially helpful if you’ve seen something you want to buy online, like a piece of furniture, that’s measured in inches.

To convert inches to centimeters, you simply need to use this equation:

centimeters = inches x 2.54

That’s because there are 2.54 centimeters to an inch, so you’ll need to multiply it by that to get your number of centimeters. Let’s take an inch example of converting 5 inches into centimeters. Your sum and answer will be:

5 x 2.54 = 12.7

## Fractions of an inch

Inches are measured in fractions of 16, and therefore can be divided into eighths, quarters and halves too. This might be a little different to what you’re used to if you work with centimeters, which are divided into 10 millimeters.

This also means that partial inches are measured in fractions, not decimal points.

When you look at the measurements of an inch on a ruler, you’ll see that it’s split into sixteenths, with markers at the eighth, quarter and half marks too.

## Measure inches without a ruler

Want to measure inches, but don’t have a ruler? No problem!

Did you know that the distance between the top knuckle and the tip of your index finger is roughly the size of an inch? It’s not an exact science, but it can give you an idea of how many inches something measures in a pinch!

Here are some other measurements inches you can estimate using your hands and arms:

- The length of your thumb: 2 inches example
- The widths of your 4 finger knuckles/the width of your fist: 4 inches
- The length between the tip of your index finger and the tip of your thumb when stretched: 6 inches
- The length between the tip of your pinky finger and the tip of your thumb when stretched: 9 inches
- The length from the tip of your longest finger to your elbow: 18 inches

If you have a ruler handy now, try it out and see how close your fingers, hands and forearms are to these measurements!!

### Example of an inch

There are a lot of real-life examples of an inch in the lengths of everyday objects, as well as the measurements on your fingers. Some examples of things that are 1 inch long include:

- A pencil eraser
- A sewing pin
- Wireless earphones
- A quarter coin
- A bottle cap

## Solved math tasks: examples

Now that you know all there is to know about the inch measurement, try out these solved math tasks to put your knowledge to the test!

### Solved math task 1

How many inches are in ¾ of a foot?

#### Answer:

9 inches. |

We know that an inch length is 1/12 of a foot, so if we convert ¾ to twelfths, we get 9/12, aka 9 inches.

### Solved math task 2

How many centimeters are in 13 inches?

#### Answer:

33.02 cm. |

To work this out, you need to multiply 13 by 2.54 = 33.02.

### Solved math problem 3

Convert 43 inches to the equivalent measurement in centimeters.

Answer:

109.22 cm. |

Again, you need to multiply your figure in inch length by 2.54 to get the centimeter measurement.

43 x 2.54 = 109.22

## Inch: practice math problems

## Inch: worksheets

You’ve now learnt all about the inch meaning and how to convert inch lengths – put yourself to the test with our cool math worksheets all related to measurements in inches!

- Measuring inches worksheets
- Measurement worksheets
- Measuring to the nearest ¼ inch worksheets
- Measurement conversion worksheets