AskDefine | Define centime

Dictionary Definition



1 a fractional monetary unit of several countries: France and Algeria and Belgium and Burkina Faso and Burundi and Cameroon and Chad and the Congo and Gabon and Haiti and the Ivory Coast and Luxembourg and Mali and Morocco and Niger and Rwanda and Senegal and Switzerland and Togo
2 a coin worth one-hundredth of the value of the basic unit [syn: penny, cent]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A former subunit of currency equal to one-hundredth of the franc.
  2. A coin having face value of one centime.


subunit of currency
  • French: pièce d'un centime , centime



  • lang=fr|/sɑ̃.tim/
  • SAMPA: /sA~.tim/


fr-noun m
  1. centime (hundredth of a franc, coin)
  2. cent (one-hundredth of a euro), eurocent




Extensive Definition

Centime (from Latin centesimus) is French for "cent", and is used in English as the name of the fraction currency in several Francophone countries (including Switzerland, Algeria, Belgium, Morocco and France).
In France the usage of centime goes back to the introduction of the decimal monetary system under Napoleon. This system aimed at replacing non-decimal fractions of older coins. A five-centime coin was known as a sou, i.e. a solidus or shilling.
Conversely in Quebec, 1/100 of a Canadian dollar is called sou (penny).

Subdivision of euro: cent or centime?

In the European community cent is the official name for 1/100 of a euro. However, in French-speaking countries the word centime is the one preferentially used. Indeed, the Conseil supérieur de la langue française of Belgium recommends in 2001 the use of centime, since the word cent has two meanings ("cent" and "hundred"). An analogous decision is published in Journal officiel in France ( December 2, 1997).
In Morocco, dirhams are divided into 100 centimes and one may find prices in the country quoted in centimes rather than in dirhams. Sometimes centimes are known as francs or in former Spanish areas, pesetas.


Centime is one hundredth of the following basic monetary units:
centime in German: Centime
centime in French: Centime
centime in Italian: Centime
centime in Polish: Centym
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