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The system of measurement in multiples of ten. In use in most developed countries, it is gradually being adopted by the U.K. and the U.S.A. The system was proposed for international use at a conference in 1960. It is derived from the French metric system and is known as the S.I. (Systéme International d’Unites). It creates a common language covering a wide range of scientific and technological uses: size. weight, mass, length, etc. There are marginal variations for specialized products. Trimmed paper is an example, paper sizes are based on a basic rectangle with an area of one square metre and with sides in the proportion 1:1-4. This size is referred to as AO; other sizes are divisions thereof, e.g. A4 is one-sixteenth the size of AO.
Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary , 3rd edt.
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