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The gram (alternative spelling: gramme;[3] SI unit symbol: g; Latin: gramma, from Greek γράμμα, grámma) is a metric system unit of mass.

Originally defined as "the absolute weight of a volume of pure water equal to the cube of the hundredth part of a metre [1 cm3], and at the temperature of melting ice"[4] (later at 4 °C, the temperature of maximum density of water). However, in a reversal of reference and defined units, a gram is now defined as one thousandth of the SI base unit, the kilogram, or 1×10−3 kg, which itself is now defined by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, not in terms of grams, but by "the amount of electricity needed to counteract its force"[5]

General information
Unit systemUCUM base unitandCGSunit
Unit ofMass
1 g in...... is equal to...
SI base units10kilograms
CGS units1 gram
Imperial unitsU.S. customary0.0353ounces

Official SI symbol

The only unit symbol for gram that is recognised by the International System of Units (SI) is "g" following the numeric value with a space, as in "640 g" to stand for "640 grams" in the English language. The SI does not support the use of abbreviations such as "gr" (which is the symbol for grains),[6] "gm" ("g⋅m" is the SI symbol for gram-metre) or "Gm" (the SI symbol for gigametre).


The word gramme was adopted by the French National Convention in its 1795 decree revising the metric system as replacing the gravet introduced in 1793. Its definition remained that of the weight (poids) of a cubic centimetre of water.[7][8] French gramme was taken from the Late Latin term gramma. This word—ultimately from Greek γράμμα (grámma), "letter"—had adopted a specialised meaning in Late Antiquity of "one twenty-fourth part of an ounce" (two oboli),[9] corresponding to about 1.14 modern grams. This use of the term is found in the carmen de ponderibus et mensuris ("poem about weights and measures") composed around 400 AD.[1] There is also evidence that the Greek γράμμα was used in the same sense at around the same time, in the 4th century, and survived in this sense into Medieval Greek,[11] while the Latin term did not remain current in Medieval Latin and was recovered in Renaissance scholarship.[2]

The gram was the fundamental unit of mass in the 19th-century centimetre–gram–second system of units (CGS). The CGS system co-existed with the MKS system of units, first proposed in 1901, during much of the 20th century, but the gram has been displaced by the kilogram as the fundamental unit for mass when the MKS system was chosen for the SI base units in 1960.


The gram is today the most widely used unit of measurement for non-liquid ingredients in cooking and grocery shopping worldwide.

Most standards and legal requirements for nutrition labels on food products require relative contents to be stated per 100 g of the product, such that the resulting figure can also be read as a percentage by weight.

Conversion factors

  • 1 gram (g) = 15.4323583529 grains (gr)

  • 1 grain (gr) = 0.06479891 grams (g)

  • 1 avoirdupois ounce (oz) = 28.349523125 grams (g)

  • 1 troy ounce (ozt) = 31.1034768 grams (g)

  • 100 grams (g) = 3.527396195 ounces

  • 1 gram (g) = 5 carats (ct)

  • 1 gram (g) = 8.98755179×1013 joules (J) (by mass–energy equivalence)

  • 1 undecimogramme = 1 "eleventh-gram" = 10−11 grams in the historic quadrant–eleventh-gram–second system (QES system) a.k.a. hebdometre–undecimogramme–second system (HUS system) (HUS system) [12]

  • 500 grams (g) = 1 Jin in the Chinese units of measurement.


  • 1 gram is roughly equal to 1 small paper clip or pen cap.

  • The Japanese 1 yen coin has a mass of one gram,[13] lighter than the British penny (3.56 g), the United States cent (2.5 g), the Euro cent (2.30 g), and the 5 cent Australian coins(2.80 g).

See also

  • Conversion of units

  • Duella

  • Gold gram

  • Orders of magnitude (mass)

  • Gram (Mythology)


Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgThe date and authorship of this Late Latin didactic poem are both uncertain; it was attributed to Priscian but is now attributed to Rem(m)ius Favinus/Flav(in)us. Knorr, Wilbur R. (1996). "Carmen de ponderibus et mensuris". In Hornblower, Simon; Spawforth, Antony (eds.). The Oxford Classical Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 292. ISBN 019866172X. The poem's title is reflected in the French phrase poids et mesures ("weights and mesures") in the title of the 1795 National Convention decree, Décret relatif aux poids et aux mesures that introduced the gram, and indirectly in the name of the General Conference on Weights and Measures responsible for the modern definition of the metric units.
Sep 20, 2019, 12:17 PM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgIn the Renaissance, the carmen de ponderibus et mensuris was received as a work of the 1st-century grammarian Remmius Palaemon edited in 1528 by Johann Setzer of Hagenau, together with works by Celsius, Priscian and Johannes Caesarius; Aurelij Cornelij Celsi, De re medica, libri octo eruditissimi. Q. Sereni Samonici Praecepta medica, uersibus hexametris. Q. Rhemnij Fannij Palaemonis, De ponderibus [et] mensuris, liber rarus [et] utilissimus
Sep 20, 2019, 12:17 PM
Citation Linkweb.archive.org"Weights and Measures Act 1985 (c. 72)". The UK Statute Law Database. Office of Public Sector Information. Archived from the original on 2008-09-12. Retrieved 2011-01-26. §92.
Sep 20, 2019, 12:17 PM
Citation Linkweb.archive.orgDécret relatif aux poids et aux mesures Archived 2013-02-25 at the Wayback Machine, 1795
Sep 20, 2019, 12:17 PM
Citation Linkwww.bbc.com"Kilogram gets a new definition". BBC News. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
Sep 20, 2019, 12:17 PM
Citation Linkportal.issn.orgNational Institute of Standards and Technology (October 2011). Butcher, Tina; Cook, Steve; Crown, Linda et al. eds. "Appendix C – General Tables of Units of Measurement" Archived 2016-06-17 at the Wayback Machine (PDF). Specifications, Tolerances, and Other Technical Requirements for Weighing and Measuring Devices Archived 2016-08-23 at the Wayback Machine. NIST Handbook. 44 (2012 ed.). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce, Technology Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology. ISSN 0271-4027. OCLC OCLC 58927093. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
Sep 20, 2019, 12:17 PM
Citation Linkweb.archive.org"Décret relatif aux poids et aux mesures du 18 germinal an 3 (7 avril 1795)" [Decree of 18 Germinal, year III (April 7, 1795) regarding weights and measures]. Grandes lois de la République (in French). Digithèque de matériaux juridiques et politiques, Université de Perpignan. Archived from the original on May 10, 2013. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
Sep 20, 2019, 12:17 PM
Citation Linkweb.archive.orgConvention nationale, décret du 1er août 1793, ed. Duvergier, Collection complète des lois, décrets, ordonnances, règlemens avis du Conseil d'état, publiée sur les éditions officielles du Louvre, vol. 6 (2nd ed. 1834), p. 70 Archived 2015-04-02 at the Wayback Machine. The metre (mètre) on which this definition depends was itself defined as the ten-millionth part of a quarter of Earth's meridian, given in traditional units as 3 pieds, 11.44 lignes (a ligne being the 12th part of an pouce (inch), or the 144th part of a pied.
Sep 20, 2019, 12:17 PM
Citation Linkweb.archive.orgCharlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary s.v. "gramma" Archived 2015-07-17 at the Wayback Machine, 1879
Sep 20, 2019, 12:17 PM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.org
Sep 20, 2019, 12:17 PM
Citation Linkweb.archive.orgHenry George Liddell. Robert Scott. A Greek-English Lexicon (revised and augmented edition, Oxford, 1940) s.v. γράμμα Archived 2015-07-17 at the Wayback Machine, citing the 10th-century work Geoponica and a 4th-century papyrus edited in L. Mitteis, Griechische Urkunden der Papyrussammlung zu Leipzig, vol. i (1906), 62 ii 27.
Sep 20, 2019, 12:17 PM
Citation Linkweb.archive.org"System of Measurement Units - Engineering and Technology History Wiki". ethw.org. Archived from the original on 29 April 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
Sep 20, 2019, 12:17 PM
Citation Linkwww.mint.go.jp"Circulating Coin Designs". Japan Mint. Archived from the original on 18 September 2009. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
Sep 20, 2019, 12:17 PM
Citation Linkwww.britannica.comGram
Sep 20, 2019, 12:17 PM
Citation Linkarchive.orgThe Oxford Classical Dictionary
Sep 20, 2019, 12:17 PM
Citation Linkwww.statutelaw.gov.uk"Weights and Measures Act 1985 (c. 72)"
Sep 20, 2019, 12:17 PM
Citation Linksmdsi.quartier-rural.orgDécret relatif aux poids et aux mesures
Sep 20, 2019, 12:17 PM
Citation Linkwww.nist.gov"Appendix C – General Tables of Units of Measurement"
Sep 20, 2019, 12:17 PM
Citation Linkweb.archive.orgArchived
Sep 20, 2019, 12:17 PM
Citation Linkwww.nist.govSpecifications, Tolerances, and Other Technical Requirements for Weighing and Measuring Devices
Sep 20, 2019, 12:17 PM