The mile is an English unit of length of linear measure equal to 5,280 feet, or 1,760 yards, and standardised as exactly 1,609.344 metres by international agreement in 1959.
With qualifiers, “mile” is also used to describe or translate a wide range of units derived from or roughly equivalent to the Roman mile, such as the nautical mile (now 1.852 km exactly), the Italian mile (roughly 1.852 km), and the Chinese mile (now 500 m exactly). The Romans divided their mile into 5,000 roman feet but the greater importance of furlongs in pre-modern England meant that the statute mile was made equivalent to 8 furlongs or 5,280 feet in 1593. This form of the mile then spread to the British-colonized nations some of which continue to employ the mile. The US Geological Survey now employs the metre for official purposes but legacy data from its 1927 geodetic datum has meant that a separate US survey mile (6336/3937 km) continues to see some use. While most countries replaced the mile with the kilometre when switching to the International System of Units, the international mile continues to be used in some countries, such as Liberia, Myanmar, the United Kingdom, the United States, and a number of countries with fewer than one million inhabitants, most of which are UK or US territories, or have close historical ties with the UK or US.
The mile was usually abbreviated m. in the past but is now sometimes written as mi to avoid confusion with the SI metre. However, derived units, such as miles per hour or miles per gallon, continue to be universally abbreviated as mph and mpg, respectively.
The international mile: a unit of length precisely equal to 1.609344 kilometers established by treaty among Anglophone nations in 1959, divided into 5,280 feet or 1,760 yards.
Any of English statute mile of 8 furlongs, equivalent to 5,280 feet or 1,760 yards of various precise values.
Any of many customary units of length derived from the Roman mile (mille passus) of 8 stades or 5,000 Roman feet.
Any of Chinese (里) or Arabic mile (al-mīl).
An airline mile in a frequent flier program.
Any similarly large distance.
“The shot missed by a mile.”
A race of 1 mile’s length; a race of around 1 mile’s length (usually 1500 or 1600 meters)
“The runners competed in the mile.”
One mile per hour, as a measure of speed.
“five miles over the speed limit”
a unit of linear measure equal to 1,760 yards (approximately 1.609 kilometres).
a race extending over a mile
“he rode the fastest mile of his entire career in 1914”
a Roman measure of 1,000 paces (approximately 1,620 yards).
a very long way or a very great amount
“vistas which stretch for miles”
“this is my favourite film by a mile”
by a great amount or a long way
“the second tape is miles better”