Word of the Day – Wednesday, July 5th



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STERE (steer)

A unit of volume equal to a cubic meter used as a measure for cordwood
Common clues:
One cubic meter; Unit of volume; About a quarter of a cord; Cordwood measure; Metric measure; About 1.3 cubic yards; Firewood measure
Crossword puzzle frequency: 2 times a year
Perfect Cord of Wood

The stere or stère is a unit of volume in the original metric system equal to one cubic metre. The name was coined from the Greek στερεός stereos 'solid' in 1793 France as a metric equivalent to the cord. The stère is typically used for measuring large quantities of firewood or other cut wood, while the cubic meter is used for uncut wood. It is not part of the modern metric system (SI).

In Dutch there's also a kuub, short for kubieke meter which is similar but different. Whereas a "kuub" is a full cubic metre, as it was traditionally used for wood a stère is a cubic metre pile of woodblocks. Such a stère is a little bit less than a kuub or full cubic metre of wood, because the spaces between the woodblocks are included in a stère while they're not in a kuub. In Finnish, the same unit is known as motti (from Swedish mått, "measure").

Note that the stère as used in contexts outside the timber industry is not subject to the same ambiguity. In particular, stère and kilostère are sometimes used in hydrology, as the kilostere is a slightly larger metric analog of an acre-foot, similar to the relationship of the tonne and (short) ton.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Stere".