from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A unit of length equal to 5,280 feet or 1,760 yards (1,609 meters), used in the United States and other English-speaking countries. Also called land mile, statute mile. See Table at measurement.
  • n. A nautical mile.
  • n. An air mile.
  • n. Sports A race that is one mile long.
  • n. A relatively great distance: had to walk for miles in the airport.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Roman unit of measure equal to 1000 (double) steps (mille passus or mille passuum) or 5000 Roman feet (approx. 1480m).
  • n. A track race of one mile in length; sometimes used to refer to the 1500m race.
  • n. A great distance.
  • n. One mile per hour, as a measure of speed.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A certain measure of distance, being equivalent in England and the United States to 320 poles or rods, or 5,280 feet.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • A contraction of Mademoiselle.
  • n. An itinerary measure, modified from that of the Romans, which was equal to 1,617 English yards: used in the British empire, in the United States, and, formerly, in most European countries.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a unit of length used in navigation; exactly 1,852 meters; historically based on the distance spanned by one minute of arc in latitude
  • n. a Swedish unit of length equivalent to 10 km
  • n. a former British unit of length once used in navigation; equivalent to 6,000 feet (1828.8 meters)
  • n. a large distance
  • n. an ancient Roman unit of length equivalent to 1620 yards
  • n. a former British unit of length equivalent to 6,080 feet (1,853.184 meters); 800 feet longer than a statute mile
  • n. a unit of length equal to 1,760 yards or 5,280 feet; exactly 1609.344 meters
  • n. a footrace extending one mile


Middle English, from Old English mīl, from Latin mīlia (passuum), a thousand (double paces), a Roman mile, pl. of mīlle, thousand; see gheslo- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English mīl, from a Germanic borrowing of Latin mīlia, mīllia, plural of mīle, mīlle ("mile") (literally ‘thousand’ but used as a short form of mille passus ‘a thousand paces’). Cognate with Dutch mijl, German Meile. (Wiktionary)



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  • Mile is derived from mille, Latin for 1000. It was the length of 1000 paces by a Roman soldier.

    April 12, 2009