Yards To Metres - Length & Distance Conversions
Quick Lookup Yards to Metres Common Conversions
The table below gives values for commonly used Imperial yards to metric metres conversions.
Quick Lookup Metres to Yards Common Conversions
The table below gives values for commonly used metres to yards conversions.
Full Conversion Tables
The conversion formulae for yards to metres and metres to yards conversions are as follows:
- 1 yard = 0.9144 metres
- 1 metre = 1.093613 yards
Note: The metre to yards conversion is approximate (given to six decimal places), but the yard to metres conversion is exact as the yard was defined as 0.9144 of a metre in the International Yard & Pound Treaty of 1959.
The metre to yards conversion is exactly 1/0.9144 (i.e. the reciprocal of 0.9144).
The yard is defined as 0.9144 metres, this definition was introduced in 1959 by the International Yard & Pound Treaty in the US, the UK and British Commonwealth countries.
The yard is a legal standard unit of measurement in the United States. Although it is no longer a legal unit of measurement in the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth countries it can still occasionally be found, most commonly with the length of cricket pitches (22 yards or 1 chain).
History & Background
The origin of the yard is unknown but a common story about its origin is that it is the length of the arm of King Henry I of England. The yard was first enshrined in law by the Statute of Ells and Perches dating from around the time of the reign of Edward I (the exact date of its incorporation into law is unknown).
The Weights and Measures Act of 1824 defined the yard by a standard yard that had been produced in 1760. This standard was destroyed in a fire at the Houses of Parliament in 1834 and a new standard was produced in 1845 based on two yard standards held by the Ordnance Survey. The question this leaves is what was used as a standard in the interim period 1834-1845.
In 1897, The Weights and Measures (Metric) Act determined the length of the metre in terms of the inch and thus the metre was 39.370113/36 yards. In 1959 the International Yard and Pound Treaty made the formal definition of the yard as 0.9144 metres and this was formally introduced into British law in 1963.
The metre is the base unit of length in the SI metric system of units and is defined as being the length of the path travelled by light in a vacuum during a time period of 1/299,792,458th of a second.
The metre and its derivative measures (kilometres, centimetres, millimetres etc) are the legal units of length and distance across most of the world apart from the US. However usage of the metric units of length, height or distance is not complete in countries other than the US, with the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth countries, that used to use Imperial measures, still formally and informally retaining some non-metric measures. For instance most people in Great Britain would not be able to tell you their height in metres.
History & Background
The metre in the original French metric system was designed to be 1/10,000,000th of the distance from the equator to the north pole around the earth's circumference at sea level. In 1799 a prototype metre bar made of platinum was produced. This protoype was superseded by a platinum-iridium bar in 1889, when the first General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) added a temperature constraint into the definition.
At the 7th CGPM in 1927, atmospheric pressure was added in to the definition. After this future definitions of the metre were no longer to use a physical object and in 1960 at the 11th CGPM the metre was defined in terms of wavelengths of light from a specified transition in krypton-86.
In 1983 the current definition of the metre in terms of the length of the path travelled by light in a vacuum was introduced at the 17th CGPM. More detail on the history of the metre can be found here.