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The pint is an English unit of volume or capacity in the imperial system and United States customary units. The imperial version is 20 imperial fluid ounces and is equivalent to about 568 ml, while the U.S. version is 16 U.S. fluid ounces and is equivalent to about 473 ml. Pints are commonly abbreviated as either "p" or "pt".

As with other measurement units used in the imperial system and USA, the pint used to be a common measure throughout Europe (differing in exact value from country to country) but was replaced in much of Europe with the metric system during the nineteenth century.


Imperial pint

The imperial pint is equal one eighth of an imperial gallon. As from 1 January 2000 it ceased to be legal to use pints within the United Kingdommarker for economic, health, safety or administrative purposes except for the sale of milk in returnable bottles or for the dispensing of beer or cider.


United States liquid pint

A label on a bottle of salad dressing showing "1 PT".
The United States liquid pint is equal one eighth of a United States liquid gallon. It is used commonly in the United States.

United States dry pint

The United States dry pint is equal one eighth of a United States dry gallon. It is used in the United States but is not as common as the liquid pint.

Metric pint

One metric pint (used informally) is equal to 500 ml.

Scottish pint

There was a now-obsolete unit of measurement in Scotlandmarker known as the Scottish pint or joug and equal to three imperial pints. It remained in use until the 19th century, and survived significantly longer than most of the old Scottish measurements.


One US fluid pint of water weighs approximately one pound, resulting in the popular saying, “The pint’s a pound, the world around.”The saying is strictly incorrect, since 1 US pint weighs 1.04375 pounds, and does not apply the world around, since the imperial pint used in Britain and its former colonies weighs 1.25 pounds. A different, but equally useful saying for the imperial pint is “A pint of pure water weighs a pound and a quarter.”

The volume of one US fluid pint is approximately 29 cubic inches and thus a bit over a cubic palm(27 cubic inches). Hence, with small adjustment, the pint, pound, and palm(PPP) serve as a non-metric example of a set of inter-related units, similar to the milliliter-gram-centimeter, and kiloliter-tonne-meter.


The pint is defined as one eighth of a gallon. Other versions of the gallon were defined for different commodities, and there were equally many versions of the pint.

America adopted the British wine gallon (defined in 1707 as 231 cubic inches exactly (3 in × 7 in × 11 in)) as its basic liquid measure, from which the U.S. wet pint is derived, and the British corn gallon (⅛ of a standard “Winchester” bushelof corn, or 268.8 cubic inches) as its dry measure, from which the US dry pint is derived.

In 1824 the British parliament replaced all its variant gallons with a new imperial gallonbased on ten poundof distilled water at 62 °F(277.42 cubic inches), from which the UK pint is derived.

Effects of metrication

As part of the metricationprocess, the pint in the UK and Ireland is now required to be used only as a measure for beerand ciderwhen sold by the glass (see pint glass) – in public housesfor instance. The measure is sometimes used for other goods, particularly milk; although since labels must give priority to metric measurements this will be shown as "568 ml (1 pint)", or just "568 ml" (see Metrication in the United Kingdom).

Many recipes published in the UK and Ireland still provide ingredient quantities in imperial, where the pint is often used as a unit for larger liquid quantities. Most new recipes are now published in metric only with the "pint" being rounded to a convenient metric value.

Kenyamarker and Virgin Islands also require that beer and cider are sold in pints.

In Irelandmarker, the pint is used for serving beer and cider in bars and clubs; all other liquids and all other locations must officially use metric-only, although many people still use the Imperial system unofficially.

In Australia and New Zealand, a subtle change was made in 1 pint milk bottles during the conversion from Imperial to metric in the 1970s. The height and diameter of the milk bottle remained unchanged, so that existing equipment for handling and storing such bottles was unaffected, but the shape was subtly adjusted to increase the capacity from 568 ml to 600 ml – a conveniently rounded metric measure. Such milk bottles are no longer officially referred to as pints. The pint glass in pubs in Australia(which is so called) remains closer to the standard Imperial pint, at 570 ml. A pint of beer in Australia is 570 ml, except in South Australiamarker where a pint is 425 ml and 570 ml is called an imperial pint.In New Zealandmarker, there is no longer any legal requirement for beer to be served in standard measures; in pubs, the largest size of glass, which is referred to as a pint, usually contains 450ml.

Since metrication, the "pint of beer" served in Canadian pubs and bars has been considered a colloquial term for "a large glass of beer", however according to Measurement Canada, vendors advertising a pint must deliver 568.26 ml.

A 375 ml bottle of liquor in the US and the Canadianmarker maritime provinces is sometimes referred to as a “pint” and a 200 ml bottle is called a “half-pint,” harking back to the days when liquor came in actual US pints, quarts, and half-gallons.Liquor in the US has been sold in metric sized bottles since 1980 although beer and wine are still sold in US traditional units.

In France, a standard 250 ml measure of beer is known as "a half" ("un demi" in French), originally meaning a half pint.


Blueberries labeled in English (1 US DRY PINT) and French (1 CHOPINE SÉCHE US) for sale in the U.S. and Canada.
Pintcomes from the Old Frenchword pinteand perhaps ultimately from Latinpictameaning "painted," for a line painted on the side of a glass marking a one-pint volume of ale.

The Frenchword pinteis etymologically related, but historically described a larger unit, of about 952.1 ml.

Thus, in some regions of French Canada, une pinterefers to the imperial quartwhereas the imperial pint is called une chopine.

Confusingly, in some parts of France and French Canada, une pinteis used to describe a 500 ml glass of beer.

In Flanders, the word pint, pintje, only refers to a 250 ml glass of lager. Some West- and East-Flemish dialects use it as a word for beaker. In the Netherlands the word pint is used in the phrase pint bieror pintje biermeaning a glass of beer.


External links

1 imperial pint 
imperial gallon
imperial quart
4 imperial gill
20 imperial fluid ounces
568.26125 millilitres (exactly) ≈ 568 ml
34.677429099 cubic inches
1.2009499255 U.S. liquid pints
1.0320567435 U.S. dry pints
1.25 lbs of water at
1 U.S. liquid pint 
U.S. liquid gallon
U.S. liquid quart
2 U.S. cup
4 U.S. fluid gills
16 U.S. fluid ounces
28.875 cubic inches (exactly)
473.176473 millilitres (exactly)after the 1964 redefinition of the litre and the 1959 redefinition of the inch ≈ 473 ml
0.83267418463 imperial pints
0.85936700738 U.S. dry pints
1.041 lbs of water at
1 U.S. dry pint 
U.S. dry gallons
U.S. dry quarts
33.6003125 cubic inches (exactly)
550.6104713575 millilitres (exactly)↑ ≈ 551 ml
0.96893897192 imperial pints
1.1636471861 U.S. liquid pints

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