|Unit system||UCUM base unit and CGS unit|
|1 g in ...||... is equal to ...|
|SI base units||10−3 kilograms|
|CGS units||1 gram|
| Imperial units|
The gram (originally gramme; SI unit symbol g) is a unit of mass in the metric system.
Originally defined as of 1795 as "the absolute weight of a volume of pure water equal to the cube of the hundredth part of a metre [1 cm3], and at the temperature of melting ice", the defining temperature (~0 °C) was later changed to 4 °C, the temperature of maximum density of water.
However, by the late 19th century, there was an effort to make the base unit the kilogram and the gram a derived unit. In 1960, the new International System of Units defined a gram as one thousandth of a kilogram (i.e., one gram is 1×10−3 kg). The kilogram, as of 2019, is defined by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures from the fixed numerical value of the Planck constant (h), which is 6.62607015×10−34 kg⋅m2⋅s−1.
The only unit symbol for gram that is recognised by the International System of Units (SI) is "g" following the numeric value with a space, as in "640 g" to stand for "640 grams" in the English language. The SI does not support the use of abbreviations such as "gr" (which is the symbol for grains),: C-19 "gm" ("g⋅m" is the SI symbol for gram-metre) or "Gm" (the SI symbol for gigametre).
The word gramme was adopted by the French National Convention in its 1795 decree revising the metric system as replacing the gravet introduced in 1793. Its definition remained that of the weight (poids) of a cubic centimetre of water.
French gramme was taken from the Late Latin term gramma. This word—ultimately from Greek γράμμα (grámma), "letter"—had adopted a specialised meaning in Late Antiquity of "one twenty-fourth part of an ounce" (two oboli), corresponding to about 1.14 modern grams. This use of the term is found in the carmen de ponderibus et mensuris ("poem about weights and measures") composed around 400 AD.[a] There is also evidence that the Greek γράμμα was used in the same sense at around the same time, in the 4th century, and survived in this sense into Medieval Greek, while the Latin term did not remain current in Medieval Latin and was recovered in Renaissance scholarship.[b]
The gram was the fundamental unit of mass in the 19th-century centimetre–gram–second system of units (CGS). The CGS system co-existed with the meter-kilogramme-second system of units (MKS), first proposed in 1901, during much of the 20th century, but the gram has been displaced by the kilogram as the fundamental unit for mass when the MKS system was chosen for the SI base units in 1960.
The gram is today the most widely used unit of measurement for non-liquid ingredients in cooking and grocery shopping worldwide. Liquid ingredients may be measured by volume rather than mass.
Many standards and legal requirements for nutrition labels on food products require relative contents to be stated per 100 g of the product, such that the resulting figure can also be read as a percentage.
Most of the world uses the metric system to weigh and measure. This book puts metric first, followed by imperial because the US uses it (with slight modifications which need not concern us).
The system of measurement used in the United States is complicated. Even when people have used the system all their lives, they still sometimes have trouble remembering things like how many fluid ounces are in a quart or how many feet are in a mile. ... The United States is the only major country that uses almost exclusively the complex system of measurement we have just described.