AskDefine | Define acre

Dictionary Definition



1 a unit of area (4840 square yards) used in English-speaking countries
2 a territory of western Brazil bordering on Bolivia and Peru
3 a town and port in northwestern Israel in the eastern Mediterranean [syn: Akko, Akka, Accho]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Acre



etyl ang æcer, from , from .



  1. A unit of surface area (symbol a. or ac.). Originally defined as an area 1 chain (22 yd) by 1 furlong (220 yd), it equals 4,840 square yards or 43,560 square feet, used for measuring geographical features such as land and bodies of water. If measured as a square it would be approximately 208.71 feet on each side, for the English statute acre. That of the United States is the same. The Scotch acre was about 1.26 of the English, and the Irish 1.62 of the English. Most commonly used to measure land (or things on land, such as the floor of a building, or sports fields), but can also be used to measure the surface area of bodies of water.
  2. in plural informal A large amount (of area).
    I like my new house - there’s acres of space!


Unit of surface area
  • Croatian: aker
  • Estonian: aaker
  • Finnish: eekkeri
  • Kurdish:
  • Russian: акр
  • Spanish: acre

Derived terms




  • /akʁ/
  • /akR/


acre /akʁ/ /akʁ/
  1. see acre /akʁ/ /akʁ/ above



From ācre, the neuter nominative form of ācer "sharp"


  1. sharp, sour
  2. harsh

Related terms



  • Sharp
  1. defn Latin




Extensive Definition

The acre is a unit of area in a number of different systems, including the imperial and U.S. customary systems. The most commonly used acres today are the international acre and, in the United States, the survey acre.
One international acre is equal 4046.8564224 m2. One U.S. survey acre is equal to = 4046.8726098 m2.
One acre comprises 4,840 square yards or 43,560 square feet (which can be easily remembered as 44,000 square feet, less 1%). Because of alternative definitions of a yard or a foot, the exact size of an acre also varies slightly. Originally, an acre was a selion of land one furlong long and one chain wide. However, an acre is a measure of area, and has no particular width, length or shape.
The acre is often used to express areas of land. In the metric system, the hectare is commonly used for the same purpose. An acre is approximately 40% of a hectare.
One acre is 90.75 yards of a 53.33-yard-wide American football field. The full field, including the end zones, covers approximately 1.32 acres.

International acre

In 1958, the United States and countries of the Commonwealth of Nations defined the length of the international yard to be 0.9144 meters. Consequently, the international acre is exactly 4046.8564224 square meters.

United States survey acre

The United States survey acre is approximately 4046.873 square meters; its exact value ( m²) is based on an inch defined by 1 meter = 39.37 inches exactly, as established by the Mendenhall Order. It is the standard acre in the United States, but the fractional difference from the international acre is only 40 millionths, or 4 ten-thousandths of one percent.

Equivalence to other units of area

1 international acre is equal to the following metric units:
1 United States survey acre is equal to:
1 acre (both variants) is equal to the following customary units:
  • 66 feet × 660 feet (43,560 square feet)
  • 4840 square yards
  • 160 perches. A perch is equal to a square rod (1 square rod is 0.00625 acre)
  • 10 square chains
  • 4 roods
  • A chain by a furlong (chain 22 yards, furlong 220 yards)
  • 0.0015625 square mile (1 square mile is equal to 640 acres)
1 international acre is equal to the following Indian unit:
  • 100 Indian cents (1 cent is equal to 0.01 acre)

Historical origin

The word "acre" is derived from Old English æcer (originally meaning "open field", cognate to Swedish "åker", German Acker, Latin ager and Greek αγρος (agros).
The acre was approximately the amount of land tillable by one man behind an ox in one day. This explains one definition as the area of a rectangle with sides of length one chain and one furlong. A long narrow strip of land is more efficient to plough than a square plot, since the plough does not have to be turned so often. The word "furlong" itself derives from the fact that it is one furrow long.
Before the enactment of the metric system, many countries in Europe used their own official acres. These were differently sized in different countries, for instance, the historical French acre was 4221 square metres, whereas in Germany as many variants of "acre" existed as there were German states.
Statutory values for the acre were enacted in England by acts of:
Historically, the size of farms and landed estates in the United Kingdom was usually expressed in acres (or acres, roods, and perches), even if the number of acres was so large that it might conveniently have been expressed in square miles. For example, a certain landowner might have been said to own 32,000 acres of land, not 50 square miles of land.

Customary acre

The customary acre was a measure of roughly similar size to the acre described above, but was subject to considerable local variation. However, there were more ancient measures that were also used, including carucates, virgates, bovates, nooks, and farundells or farthingales. These may have been multiples of the customary acre, rather than the statute acre.
acre in Asturian: Acre (unidá de superficie)
acre in Bengali: একর
acre in Belarusian: Акр
acre in Bosnian: Acre
acre in Bulgarian: Акър
acre in Czech: Akr
acre in Danish: Acre (arealenhed)
acre in German: Acre (Einheit)
acre in Estonian: Aaker
acre in Modern Greek (1453-): Έικρ
acre in Spanish: Acre (unidad de superficie)
acre in Esperanto: Akreo (mezurunuo)
acre in French: Acre (unité)
acre in Scottish Gaelic: Acair (talamh)
acre in Galician: Acre (unidade de superficie)
acre in Korean: 에이커
acre in Croatian: Acre (jedinica)
acre in Bishnupriya: একর
acre in Italian: Acro
acre in Hebrew: אקר
acre in Latin: Ager (mensura)
acre in Macedonian: Акра (мерна единица)
acre in Malay (macrolanguage): Ekar
acre in Dutch: Acre (oppervlaktemaat)
acre in Japanese: エーカー
acre in Norwegian: Acre (måleenhet)
acre in Polish: Akr
acre in Portuguese: Acre (unidade)
acre in Russian: Акр
acre in Simple English: Acre
acre in Slovak: Aker (jednotka)
acre in Slovenian: Aker
acre in Finnish: Eekkeri
acre in Swedish: Acre
acre in Tamil: ஏக்கர்
acre in Vietnamese: Mẫu Anh
acre in Ukrainian: Акр
acre in Chinese: 英亩
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