Meaning of KILOMETER in English
transcription, транскрипция: [ kə-ˈlä-mə-tər, ki-; ˈki-lə-ˌmē-tər ]
Etymology: French kilomètre, from kilo- + mètre meter
: a metric unit or length equal to 1000 meters — see metric system table
In North American speech kilometer is most often pronounced with primary stress on the second syllable. This pronunciation is also heard frequently in British speech. Those who object to second syllable stress say that the first syllable should be stressed in accord with the stress patterns of centimeter, millimeter, etc. However, the pronunciation of kilometer does not parallel that of other metric compounds. From 1828 to 1841 Noah Webster indicated only second syllable stress, and his successor added a first syllable stress variant in the first Merriam-Webster dictionary of 1847. Thus, both pronunciations are venerable. Most scientists use second syllable stress, although first syllable stress seems to occur with a higher rate of frequency among scientists than among nonscientists.
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary. Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster. 2003