A mile is a unit of length, most commonly 5,280 feet (1,760 yards, or about 1,609 meters). The mile of 5,280 feet is sometimes called the statute mile or land mile to distinguish it from the nautical mile (1,852 metres, about 6,076.1 feet). There have also been many historical miles and similar units in other systems that may be translated into English as miles; they have varied in length from 1 to 15 kilometres.

The exact length of the land mile varied slightly among English-speaking countries until the international yard and pound agreement in 1959 established the yard as exactly 0.9144 metres, giving a mile of exactly 1,609.344 metres. The United States adopted this international mile for most purposes, but retained the pre-1959 mile for some land-survey data, terming it the US survey mile. In the US, statute mile formally refers to the survey mile, about 3.219 mm (⅛ inch) longer than the international mile (the international mile is exactly 0.0002% less than the US survey mile).

Use of the mile as a unit of measurement is now largely confined to the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada.

Read more about Mile:  Etymology, Roman Mile, Historical Miles in The Arabic World and Europe, Historical Miles in Britain and Ireland, Statute Mile, Metric Mile, Nautical Mile, Abbreviation and Symbol, Grid System, Idioms

Famous quotes containing the word mile:

    Telephone poles were matchsticks, put there to be snapped off at a whim. Dogs trotting across the road were suddenly big trucks. Old ladies turned into moving—vans. Everything was too bright, but very funny and made for my delight. And about half a mile from my long liquid breakfast I turned carefully down a side street and parked, and sat beaming happily through the tannic fog for about an hour, remembering how witty we all had been, how handsome and talented ... [ellipsis in original]
    M.F.K. Fisher (1908–1992)

    We got our new rifled muskets this morning. They are mostly old muskets, many of them used, altered from flint-lock to percussion ... but the power of the gun was fully as great as represented. The ball at one-fourth mile passed through the largest rails; at one-half mile almost the same.... I think it an excellent arm.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822–1893)

    For now the moon with friendless light carouses
    On hill and housetop, street and marketplace,
    Men will plunge, mile after mile of men,
    To crush this lucent madness of the face....
    Allen Tate (1899–1979)