# Pound vs. Kg — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on January 22, 2024
Pound (lb) is a unit of weight in the imperial system, equivalent to 0.453592 kg, while Kilogram (kg) is the base unit of mass in the metric system, equal to 2.20462 lbs.

## Key Differences

The pound (lb) is a unit of weight used in the imperial system, predominantly in the United States. It is equivalent to approximately 0.453592 kilograms. The kilogram (kg), on the other hand, is the base unit of mass in the metric system, used globally, and is equivalent to 2.20462 pounds. This difference highlights the primary distinction between the imperial and metric systems.
One pound is defined as exactly 0.45359237 kilograms by international agreement in 1959. Conversely, the kilogram was originally defined as the mass of one liter of water at freezing point but is now precisely defined by the Planck constant. This reflects the evolving nature of measurement standards.
In practical use, pounds are commonly used for body weight measurements in countries like the United States. Kilograms, being part of the globally accepted metric system, are widely used in scientific applications, healthcare, and most other countries for almost all mass measurements.
The pound is further divided into 16 ounces (oz), which allows for more granular measurements. The kilogram, while being the base unit of mass, is often divided into grams (1000g in 1kg) for smaller quantities, showcasing different subdivision approaches in the imperial and metric systems.
In terms of everyday usage, pounds are often used in recipes, gym weights, and body weight in the U.S., reflecting the imperial system's influence. Kilograms are used in almost every other global context, from food packaging to scientific research, emphasizing the metric system's international adoption.

## Comparison Chart

Imperial system
Metric system

### Standard Conversion

1 lb = 0.453592 kg
1 kg = 2.20462 lbs

Weight
Mass

### Common Use

Body weight, U.S. recipes
Scientific, global measurements

### Subdivisions

Divided into 16 ounces
Divided into 1000 grams

## Compare with Definitions

#### Pound

Pound is a unit of weight in the imperial system.
The package weighed 5 pounds.

#### Kg

Kg is used globally for scientific and everyday measurements.
The recipe required 2 kg of flour.

#### Pound

Pound is also used in British currency (GBP).
The book costs 20 pounds in the UK.

#### Kg

Kg is the base unit of mass in the metric system.
The luggage must not exceed 20 kg.

#### Pound

Pound is subdivided into 16 ounces.
The baby weighed 7 pounds and 8 ounces at birth.

#### Kg

Kg is equivalent to 2.20462 pounds.
He lifted a 100 kg weight, equal to 220.46 pounds.

#### Pound

In the U.S., body weight is commonly measured in pounds.
My goal is to reach 150 pounds by next month.

#### Kg

Kg is used in healthcare for measuring body mass.
Her ideal body weight is 55 kg.

#### Pound

Pound is legally defined as 0.453592 kilograms.
He lost 10 pounds, which is about 4.54 kg.

#### Kg

Kg is subdivided into 1000 grams for smaller quantities.
The gold bar weighed 1 kg or 1000 grams.

#### Pound

A unit of weight equal to 16 ounces (453.592 grams).

#### Kg

One thousand grams; the basic unit of mass adopted under the Systeme International d'Unites;
A kilogram is approximately 2.2 pounds

#### Pound

A unit of apothecary weight equal to 12 ounces (373.242 grams). See Table at measurement.

#### Pound

A unit of weight differing in various countries and times.

See pound-force.

See pound-mass.

#### Pound

The primary unit of currency in the United Kingdom, worth 20 shillings or 240 old pence before the decimalization of 1971. Also called pound sterling.

#### Pound

See Table at currency.

#### Pound

The primary unit of currency in Ireland and Cyprus before the adoption of the euro.

#### Pound

A primary unit of currency in Scotland before the Act of Union (1707). Also called pound scots.

#### Pound

The pound key on a telephone.

A heavy blow.

#### Pound

The sound of a heavy blow; a thump.

#### Pound

The act of pounding.

#### Pound

An animal shelter, especially one operated by a public agency to house stray or confiscated animals.

#### Pound

A public enclosure for the confinement of stray livestock.

#### Pound

A tank or submerged cage, as on a boat, in which live fish or shellfish are kept.

#### Pound

New England An establishment at which live lobsters are kept and sold, often also offering no-frills restaurant service.

#### Pound

A place in which vehicles impounded by the authorities are held until redeemed by their owners.

#### Pound

(Archaic) A prison.

#### Pound

To strike repeatedly and forcefully, especially with the hand or a tool
Pounded the nail with a hammer.

#### Pound

To assault with military force
Pounded the bunker with mortars.

#### Pound

To beat to a powder or pulp; pulverize or crush
Pound corn into meal.

#### Pound

To instill by persistent, emphatic repetition
Pounded knowledge into the students' heads.

#### Pound

To produce energetically, as from forceful use of the hands. Often used with out
"a tinny piano pounding out Happy Birthday down the block" (Laura Kascischke).

#### Pound

To cause harm or loss to; affect adversely
Stocks that were pounded when energy prices rose.

#### Pound

To defeat soundly
Pounded their rivals in the season finale.

#### Pound

To attack verbally; criticize
Was pounded for months in the press.

#### Pound

(Slang) To drink quickly (a beverage, especially an alcoholic one). Often used with back or down
Pounded back a few beers after work.

#### Pound

To strike vigorous, repeated blows
He pounded on the table.

#### Pound

To move along heavily and noisily
The children pounded up the stairs.

#### Pound

To pulsate rapidly and heavily; throb
My heart pounded.

#### Pound

To move or work laboriously
A ship that pounded through heavy seas.

#### Pound

To confine (an animal) in a pound.

#### Pound

A unit of weight in various measurement systems

#### Pound

Ellipsis of pound weight

#### Pound

The translated name of various non-English units of measure

#### Pound

A unit of mass in various measurement systems

#### Pound

Ellipsis of pound mass

#### Pound

The translated name of various non-English units of measure

#### Pound

A unit of mass equal to 16 avoirdupois ounces (= 453.592 g). Today this value is the most common meaning of "pound" as a unit of weight.

#### Pound

A unit of mass equal to 12 troy ounces (≈ 373.242 g). Today, this is a common unit of mass when measuring precious metals, and is little used elsewhere.

#### Pound

A unit of force in various measurement systems

#### Pound

Ellipsis of pound force

#### Pound

The translated name of various non-English units of measure

#### Pound

A unit of currency in various currency systems

#### Pound

The translated name of various non-English units of currency

#### Pound

The unit of currency used in the United Kingdom and its dependencies. It is divided into 100 pence. Symbol £.

#### Pound

Any of various units of currency used in Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan and Syria, and formerly in the Republic of Ireland, Cyprus and Israel.

#### Pound

Any of various units of currency formerly used in the United States.
The Rhode Island pound; the New Hampshire pound

#### Pound

(US) The symbol # (octothorpe, hash, number sign)

#### Pound

A place for the detention of stray or wandering animals.
Dog pound

#### Pound

(metonymy) The people who work for the pound.

#### Pound

(UK) A place for the detention of automobiles that have been illegally parked, abandoned, etc.

#### Pound

A section of a canal between two adjacent locks.

#### Pound

A kind of fishing net, having a large enclosure with a narrow entrance into which fish are directed by wings spreading outward.

#### Pound

(Newfoundland) a division inside a fishing stage where cod is cured in salt brine

A hard blow.

#### Pound

To wager a pound on.

#### Pound

To confine in, or as in, a pound; to impound.

#### Pound

(transitive) To strike hard, usually repeatedly.

#### Pound

(transitive) To crush to pieces; to pulverize.

#### Pound

To eat or drink very quickly.
You really pounded that beer!

#### Pound

To pitch consistently to a certain location.
The pitcher has been pounding the outside corner all night.

#### Pound

To beat strongly or throb.
As I tiptoed past the sleeping dog, my heart was pounding but I remained silent.

#### Pound

To advance heavily with measured steps.

#### Pound

(engineering) To make a jarring noise, as when running.
The engine pounds.

#### Pound

To strike repeatedly with some heavy instrument; to beat.
With cruel blows she pounds her blubbered cheeks.

#### Pound

To comminute and pulverize by beating; to bruise or break into fine particles with a pestle or other heavy instrument; as, to pound spice or salt.

#### Pound

To strike heavy blows; to beat.

#### Pound

To make a jarring noise, as in running; as, the engine pounds.

#### Pound

To confine in, or as in, a pound; to impound.

#### Pound

An inclosure, maintained by public authority, in which cattle or other animals are confined when taken in trespassing, or when going at large in violation of law; a pinfold.

#### Pound

A level stretch in a canal between locks.

#### Pound

A kind of net, having a large inclosure with a narrow entrance into which fish are directed by wings spreading outward.

#### Pound

A certain specified weight; especially, a legal standard consisting of an established number of ounces.

#### Pound

A British denomination of money of account, equivalent to twenty shillings sterling, and equal in value to about \$4.86. There is no coin known by this name, but the gold sovereign is of the same value.

#### Pound

16 ounces;
He tried to lift 100 pounds

#### Pound

The basic unit of money in Great Britain; equal to 100 pence

#### Pound

The basic unit of money in Syria; equal to 100 piasters

#### Pound

The basic unit of money in the Sudan; equal to 100 piasters

#### Pound

The basic unit of money in Lebanon; equal to 100 piasters

#### Pound

Formerly the basic unit of money in Ireland; equal to 100 pence

#### Pound

The basic unit of money in Egypt; equal to 100 piasters

#### Pound

The basic unit of money in Cyprus; equal to 100 cents

#### Pound

A nontechnical unit of force equal to the mass of 1 pound with an acceleration of free fall equal to 32 feet/sec/sec

#### Pound

United States writer who lived in Europe; strongly influenced the development of modern literature (1885-1972)

#### Pound

A public enclosure for stray or unlicensed dogs;
Unlicensed dogs will be taken to the pound

#### Pound

The act of pounding (delivering repeated heavy blows);
The sudden hammer of fists caught him off guard
The pounding of feet on the hallway

#### Pound

Hit hard with the hand, fist, or some heavy instrument;
The salesman pounded the door knocker
A bible-thumping Southern Baptist

#### Pound

Strike or drive against with a heavy impact;
Ram the gate with a sledgehammer
Pound on the door

#### Pound

Move heavily or clumsily;
The heavy man lumbered across the room

#### Pound

Move rhythmically;
Her heart was beating fast

#### Pound

Partition off into compartments;
The locks pound the water of the canal

#### Pound

Shut up or confine in any enclosure or within any bounds or limits;
The prisoners are safely pounded

#### Pound

Place or shut up in a pound;
Pound the cows so they don't stray

#### Pound

Break down and crush by beating, as with a pestle;
Pound the roots with a heavy flat stone

## Common Curiosities

#### What is the primary use of pounds?

For measuring body weight, food, and goods in the U.S.

#### Can pounds be converted to kilograms easily?

Yes, using the conversion factor of 1 lb = 0.453592 kg.

#### How many kilograms are in a pound?

Approximately 0.453592 kilograms.

#### What is a pound?

A unit of weight in the imperial system.

#### What does kg stand for?

Kilogram, a base unit of mass in the metric system.

#### Is the pound used globally?

Primarily in the United States and for British currency.

#### What are common uses of kilograms?

In global trade, scientific research, and healthcare.

#### How is the kilogram defined?

By the Planck constant, a fundamental constant in physics.

#### Can kilograms be converted to pounds easily?

Yes, using the conversion factor of 1 kg = 2.20462 lbs.

#### Is the pound or kilogram more widely used internationally?

The kilogram, as part of the metric system.

#### Is the kilogram used in the United States?

Yes, mainly in scientific, health, and some consumer goods contexts.

16 ounces.

1000 grams.

#### Why do Americans use pounds instead of kilograms?

Due to the historical adoption of the imperial system in the United States.