Why is it that "milli" means "thousand" but milliseconds are only 1/100 of a second?

Wouldn't they be "centiseconds"? Because when you time something, it shows up as 15:32:78 or something.

3 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you see a stopwatch showing 1/100's of a second, those are not milliseconds. They're 10s of milliseconds, or centiseconds as you said (though we don't commonly use that word). A millisecond is indeed 1/1000 of a second.

  • 9 years ago

    Time (hh:mm:ss) was established before the incarnation of the metric system, so why it isn't centiseconds is purely because of the 'time' it was created.

    Which is why we have centimetres (1/100th of a metre) and millimetres (1/1000th of a metre).

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    milliseconds are 1/1000 of a second.

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