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liter,

abbr. l, unit of volume in the metric systemmetric system,
system of weights and measures planned in France and adopted there in 1799; it has since been adopted by most of the technologically developed countries of the world.
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, defined since 1964 as equal to 0.001 cubic meters, or 1 cubic decimeter. A cube that has each of its edges equal to 10 centimeters has a volume of 1 liter. The liter is equal to 1.057 liquid quarts, 0.908 dry quarts, and 61.024 cubic inches.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Liter

 

the unit of volume and capacity in the metric system of measurement. It is designated by the letter l. According to a decision of the Third General Conference on Weights and Measures (1901) the liter was defined as the volume of 1 kg of pure water at normal atmospheric pressure (105 kilonewtons per sq m, or 760 mm of mercury) and the temperature of greatest water density (4°C); 1 l = 1.000028 cubic decimeters (dm3). The Twelfth General Conference on Weights and Measures (1964) abolished this definition and adopted 1 l = 1 dm3 (precisely). The term “liter” may now be used as a special name for “dm3” in cases that do not express the results of highly precise measurements.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

liter

[lēd·ər]
(mechanics)
A unit of volume or capacity, equal to 1 decimeter cubed, or 0.001 cubic meter, or 1000 cubic centimeters. Abbreviated l; L.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

liter, litre

A metric unit of volume equal to 1/1000 cubic meter; equal to 61.03 cubic inches.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

litre

(US), liter
1. one cubic decimetre
2. (formerly) the volume occupied by 1 kilogram of pure water at 4?C and 760 millimetres of mercury. This is equivalent to 1.000 028 cubic decimetres or about 1.76 pints
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005