noun, plural ki·los.

  1. kilogram.
  2. kilometer.
  3. (a word used in communications to represent the letter K.)

  1. a Greek combining form meaning “thousand,” introduced from French in the nomenclature of the metric system (kiloliter); on this model, used in the formation of compound words in other scientific measurements (kilowatt).

noun plural kilos

  1. short for kilogram, kilometre


  1. communications a code word for the letter k


  1. denoting 10³ (1000)kilometre Symbol: k
  2. (in computer technology) denoting 2 10 (1024): kilobyte: in computer usage, kilo- is restricted to sizes of storage (e.g. kilobit) when it means 1024; in other computer contexts it retains its usual meaning of 1000

1870, shortening of kilogram. Slang shortening key (in drug trafficking) is attested from 1968.

word-forming element meaning “one thousand,” introduced in French 1795, when the metric system was officially adopted there, from Greek khilioi “thousand,” of unknown origin.


  1. One thousand (103):kilogram.

  1. A prefix that means:
  2. One thousand, as in kilowatt, one thousand watts.
  3. 210 (that is, 1,024), which is the power of 2 closest to 1,000, as in kilobyte.

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