The metre (or meter; US spelling) is the SI base unit of length and uses the symbol m.
Originally defined in 1793 as one ten-millionth of the distance from the equator to the North Pole but was redefined in 1799 in terms of a prototyped metre bar (this bar was changed again in 1889).
In 1983 the current definition was adopted and it is now the most common unit in any property in the world and is used in thousands of formulae to describe countless characteristics.
Let's hear it for the metre!
The millimetre (American spelling millimeter) is a unit of length and is a multiple of the SI unit metre. It uses the symbol mm.
There are 1000 mm in 1 m and 10 mm in 1 cm. From this one can derive that there are 0.03937 in.
The millimetre is sometimes verbally abbreviated to 'mil' - which can cause confusion in the US as there is a unit there that means thousandth of an inch.