# What Is a Mile? Definition and Examples

reviewed by Jo-ann Caballes

Updated on October 29, 2024

We use miles to determine the distance between two locations. However, miles aren’t used all over the world, except in the US, UK, and some other countries.

Here, we cover the meaning of miles, how to measure a mile, things that are as long as a mile, the equivalence of miles to other measurement units, examples, and more!

## What Is a Mile?

A mile is a measurement unit for estimating large distances. These distances can be between cities, the length of a road or highway, flight distances, marathons, railway lines, and so much more.

Did you know that the longest interstate highway in the United States is measured in miles? Interstate 90 is about 3,021 miles in length.

The mile symbol is (mi)

### How much is 1 mile?

1 mile has once been said to be the same as 1,000 paces or steps. This history goes back to ancient Rome where the word originates.

However, in more recent times, there are different types of miles, here they are and their conversion to meters:

- One earth mile is 1,609.34 meters — this is the one we use for measuring distances relating to land and road. It is also known as statute miles or miles for short.
- One Roman mile is 1,481 meters
- One nautical mile is 1,852 meters

### Who uses miles?

Miles is used by Anglo-Saxon (English-speaking) countries. These are the United Kingdom, the United States, and countries that they have influenced.

## Things that are a mile long

A 1-mile example is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco (1.7 miles to be exact).

There are other things that are a mile long including mega malls — if you add all the levels. Another example is the NASCAR Dover International Speedway racetrack which spans a 1-mile distance.

You may not always find things that span an exact length of 1 mile but you can always find several places and distances that can be measured in miles, such as:

- The popular Great Wall of China is estimated to be around 13,700 miles long
- One of the longest rivers in the world, the Nile River is 4,135 miles in length
- Have you ever been on a road trip from New York to Los Angeles? It’s 2,800 miles approx!

## 1 mi and Other Units of Measuring Length

Miles is not the only way to measure length and distance. The following are some other measurement units under length and their equivalence to 1 mi:

#### Miles to Inches:

Inches are small units of measuring length under the imperial system. 1 mile is equal to 63,360 inches.

#### Miles to Feet:

Although it covers more than inches, feet are also used to measure small distances but average lengths. Yet, how long is a mile in feet? 1 foot is 12 inches and if we divide 63,360 by 12, we get 5,280, meaning 1 mile is 5,280 feet

#### Miles to Yards:

Yards are used to measure short distances such as a football field which may span up to 100 yards. A yard is 3 feet and when 5,280 is divided by 3, the answer (1,760) is the amount of yards in a mile.

#### Miles to Furlongs:

Furlongs are the closest measurement units under the imperial system to miles for measuring length. A furlong is 220 yards and when 1760 divides 220, the answer is 8. This means a mile is equal to 8 furlongs.

Therefore:

1 mile = 63,360 inches

1 mile = 5,280 feet

1 mile = 1,760 yards

1 mile = 8 furlongs

### What is bigger than miles?

A league is bigger than a mile – it is the equivalent of 3 miles. Leagues have not been a commonly used standard of measurement in recent times as they were mostly used in the past such as in historical maps.

Nowadays, forests and nautical distances can be measured in leagues.

## Solved Math Tasks: Examples

### Solved math problem 1

Convert 30 miles to inches.

#### Answer

1 mile is 63,360 inches which means 30 miles is:

30 × 63,360

30 mi = 1,900,800 inches |

### Solved math problem 2

Jenny and her family go on a road trip to Mount Rushmore from Aberdeen which takes a total of 314,840 meters. Help her calculate the distance in miles.

#### Answer

As we mentioned earlier, 1 earth mile is 1,609.34 meters.

Therefore,

314,380 ÷ 1,609.34 = 195.34 mi

Jenny and her family traveled approximately 195 miles. |

### Solved math problem 3

How many miles is 17 furlongs?

#### Answer

As 1 mile in furlongs is 8, meaning 17 furlongs will be:

17 ÷ 8 = 2.125 miles. |

## Miles unit: worksheets

Distance can be calculated in many ways: meters, kilometers, feet, inches, etc. However, the mile distance is the standard mode of estimating distances in the United States and other English-speaking countries. Your child can practice more exercises about miles through Brighterly’s free worksheets:

- Metric system worksheets
- Measuring units worksheets
- Measurement worksheets for 2nd graders
- Measuring inches worksheets