Meaning of MILE in English


any of various units of distance, such as the statute mile of 5,280 feet. It originated from the Roman mille passus, or thousand paces, which measured 5,000 Roman feet. About the year 1500 the old London mile was defined as eight furlongs. At the time, the furlong, measured by a larger northern (German) foot, was 625 feet, and thus the mile equaled 5,000 feet. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the mile gained an additional 280 feetto 5,280under a statute of 1593 that confirmed the use of a shorter foot that made the length of the furlong 660 feet. Elsewhere in the British Isles, longer miles were used, including the Irish mile of 6,720 feet and the Scottish mile of 5,940 feet. A nautical mile is the length on the Earth's surface of one minute of arc, or, by international definition, 1,852 m (6,076.12 feet; 1.1508 statute miles). The measure remains in universal use in both marine and air transportation. The knot is one nautical mile per hour.

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