The cubic metre (symbol m³) is the SI derived unit of volume. It is the volume of a cube with edges one metre in length. In the United States it is spelled cubic meter. An alternate name, which allowed a different usage with SI prefixes, was the stère. Another alternate name, not widely used anymore, is the kilolitre, spelled kiloliter in the United States.
A cubic metre of pure water at the temperature of maximum density (3.98 °C) and standard atmospheric pressure (101.325 kPa) has a mass of 1000 kg, or one tonne. At 0 °C, the freezing point of water, it is slightly less, 999.972 kg.
It is sometimes abbreviated to cu m, m3, m^3 or m**3 when superscript characters or markup are not available/accessible (i.e. in some typewritten documents and postings in Usenet newsgroups).
Abbreviated CBM in the freight business and MTQ (or numeric code 49) in international trade.
Multiples and submultiples
Main article: SI prefix
See 1 E-3 m³ for a comparison with other volumes.
A cubic dekametre (dam³) is 1 000 cubic metres, and is equal to the volume of a cube of side length 1 dekametre (10 metres).
A cubic hectometre (hm³) is the volume equal to that of a cube of side length 1 hectometre (100 metres). 1 hm³ is 1 000 X 10 6 liters (see Giga litre). 1 000 cubic dekametres is 1 cubic hectometre (hm³) and 1 000 cubic hectometres is 1 cubic kilometre (km³).
A cubic kilometre (km³) is the volume equal to that of a cube of side length 1 kilometre.
A cubic decimetre (dm³) is the volume of a cube of side length 1 decimetre (0.1 metre). 1 cubic decimetre is equal to 1 litre.
From 1901 to 1964 the litre was defined as the volume of 1 kilogram of pure water at 4 degrees Celsius and 760 millimetres of mercury pressure. During this time, a litre was about 1.000028 dm3. In 1964 the original definition was reverted to.
A cubic centimetre (cm³) is equal to the volume of a cube with side length of 1 centimetre. It was the base unit of volume of the CGS system of units, and is a legitimate SI unit. It is equal to a millilitre (ml).
The colloquial abbreviations cc and ccm are not SI but are common in some contexts. It is a verbal shorthand for "cubic centimetre". For example 'cc' is commonly used for denoting displacement of car and motorbike engines "the Mini Cooper had a 1275 cc engine". In medicine 'cc' is also common, for example "100 cc of blood loss".
A cubic millimetre (mm³) is the volume equal to that of a cube with edges of 1 millimetre. It is equal to a microlitre (µl).