What is metrification?

Converting to the metric system

When a country is undergoing metrification, it is in the process of converting its previous system(s) of measurement to the metric system. In the 1790s, France became the first country to metrify. Most other countries have since followed suit, though some holdouts remain.

Who are the major holdouts against metrification?

The British, who have historically used British imperial measurements, continue to resist metrification, though they use metric measurements for most business and trade transactions. The United States has also held off on converting to the metric system, preferring to use a system known as US customary units.

This has left Canada, which has ties to both the United Kingdom and the United States, in an awkward position. As such, Canada's metrification efforts stalled in 1985, leaving many businesses to use multiple systems of measurement. For example, Canadian food producers can "dual label" products, providing weights and volumes in both metric and imperial/customary units. (In these cases, the metric measurement must always be listed first.)


"Sure, metrification will cost a lot of money and likely take forever. But at least our system of measurement will finally make sense!"
Some in the United Kingdom consider it patriotic to resist metrification

Some in the United Kingdom consider it patriotic to resist metrification

Related Slang


Last Updated: December 15, 2021

Metrification definition

This page explains what the slang term "Metrification" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slangit team.

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