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A foot (plural: feet; abbreviation or symbol: ft or (the prime symbol)) is a unit of length. Since 1960 the term has usually referred to the international foot, defined as being one third of a yard, making it 0.3048 meters exactly. It is an integral part of both the imperial and United States customary systems of units. The foot is subdivided into 12 inches.

Historically the foot, which was used in Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, England, Scotland and many Continental European countries and which varied from country to country and in some cases from city to city, was a partly local systems of units. Its length was usually between 250 mm and 335 mm and was generally, but not always, subdivided into 12 inches or 16 digits.

The United States is the only industrialized nation that uses the international foot and the survey foot (a customary unit of length) in preference to the meter in its commercial, engineering and standards activities. The foot is legally recognized in the United Kingdom; road signs must use imperial units, while its usage is widespread among the British public as a measurement of height. The foot is also recognized as an alternative expression of length in Canada officially defined as a unit derived from the meter although both have partially metricated their units of measurement. The measurement of altitude in the aviation industry is one of the few areas where the foot is widely used outside the English-speaking world.


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