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Mile

Mile is the name of several units of length, mainly 1609 m on land and 1852 m at sea and in the air (for details see below).

Throughout history many units of length named 'mile' have been used, with widely differing definitions, originating with the Roman mile of approximately 1479 metres. A Roman mile consisted of 1000 'double steps', or two strides by a Roman soldier. The word mile is derived from the word millia passuum, a thousand paces. Along the roads built by the Romans throughout Europe, it was common to erect a stone every mile to announce the distance to Rome, the so-called milestones.

The meanings of mile that are still commonly used today are:

The international mile is the one typically meant when the word "mile" is used without qualification. It is defined to be precisely 1609.344 m or 5280 international feet. It is used in the US and UK as part of the Imperial system of units. The international mile is equal to 8 furlongs, or 1760 international yards.

The U.S. survey mile or statute mile is precisely equal to 6336/3937 kilometres or 5280 U.S. survey feet, approximately 1609.347 metres. It was retained for measurements derived from US geodetic surveys after the international mile was agreed upon in 1959. It is used by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey[?]. The name statute mile goes back to Queen Elizabeth I of England who redefined the mile from 5000 feet to 5280 feet.

The international nautical mile is defined to be exactly 1852 metres. It is used universally for aviation, naval and maritime purposes and originated from the geographical mile.

In Norway and Sweden, a distance of 10 kilometres is most commonly referred to as a mile, see mil.

There was also an approx. 7.5 km geographical mile, which was used in Denmark and Germany. In Norway and Sweden this mile was used at sea only.

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