# Definition:Metre/Square Metre

## Definition

The **square metre** is the SI unit of area.

The symbol for the **square metre** is $\mathrm m^2$.

### Symbol

- $\mathrm m^2$

The symbol for the **square metre** is $\mathrm m^2$.

The $\LaTeX$ code for \(\mathrm m^2\) is `\mathrm m^2`

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## Linguistic Note

The word **metre** originated with Tito Livio Burattini who pioneered the concept of a universal set of fundamental units.

He used the term **metro cattolico** from the Greek **μέτρον καθολικόν** (**métron katholikón**), that is **universal measure**.

This word gave rise to the French word **mètre** which was introduced into the English language in $1797$.

The spelling **metre** is the one adopted by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures.

**Meter** is the variant used in standard American English, but can be confused for the word for a general device used to measure something, in particular the standard household *electricity meter*, *water meter* and so on.

While $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$ attempts in general to standardise on American English, the name of this unit is one place where a deliberate decision has been made to use the international spelling.

## Sources

- 1938: A. Geary, H.V. Lowry and H.A. Hayden:
*Mathematics for Technical Students, Part One*... (previous) ... (next): Arithmetic: Chapter $\text I$: Decimals: The Metric System