# Metric prefix

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A **metric prefix** is a unit prefix that precedes a basic unit of measure to indicate a multiple or submultiple of the unit. All metric prefixes used today are decadic. Each prefix has a unique symbol that is prepended to any unit symbol. The prefix *kilo-*, for example, may be added to *gram* to indicate *multiplication* by one thousand: one kilogram is equal to one thousand grams. The prefix *milli-*, likewise, may be added to *metre* to indicate *division* by one thousand; one millimetre is equal to one thousandth of a metre.

Decimal multiplicative prefixes have been a feature of all forms of the metric system, with six of these dating back to the system's introduction in the 1790s. Metric prefixes have also been used with some non-metric units. The **SI prefixes** are metric prefixes that were standardised for use in the International System of Units (SI) by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) in resolutions dating from 1960 to 2022.[1][2] Since 2009, they have formed part of the ISO/IEC 80000 standard. They are also used in the Unified Code for Units of Measure (UCUM).