Difference Between CC and ML

There are multiple units or standards of measurement. The most common and preferred measurement standards for solids and liquids are CC or ML.

CC and ML can be considered as the same because 1 CC is equal to 1 ML and hence are synonymous.

The amount of a liquid that would accommodate in 1 CC will be the same that will accommodate in 1 ML. So, from this perspective CC and ML could be considered equivalent words.

However, there are subtle differences between the two.

CC vs ML

The main difference between CC and ML is that CC is used for the measurement of solids, while ML is used for the measurement of liquids.

CC vs ML

However, the above is not the only difference. A comparison between both the terms on certain parameters can shed light on subtle aspects:


Comparison Table Between CC and ML (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonCCML
MeaningIt means cubic centimeterIt means milliliter
What is the base unit?The base unit is the cubic meterThe base unit is a litre
Example of how it is used1 CC of sand1 ML of syrup
The purposes for which the standard measurement is appliedScientific disciplinesMeasure small amounts of liquids especially in the medical domain, and/or used by physicians, pharmacists
Which one is commonly used?Less used, used only in certain sectors where people are aware of its measurementMore commonly used across the international and general sphere
Is it used in the motor vehicle industry?Yes, especially in certain countries such as the USANo
Which one is more known to peopleLess known to peoplePeople are more aware as the medical prescription on a bottle denotes ML(of 5, 10, etc.) as preferred dosage
Why preferred mode for liquid measurement?Not a preferred mode as the base unit of CC is a meter which is a measure of lengthThe preferred mode for measuring liquids as the base unit is liter which is a measure of liquids


What is CC?

CC, when expanded, is known as a cubic centimeter. CC is indicated by cm3. CC can be considered as the volume of a cube with measurements of 1 cm × 1 cm × 1 cm. In more concrete terms, a CC is equal to 1/1,000,000 of a cubic meter.

CC is a base unit of volume of the CGS (Centimeter Gram Second) system of units. CC is a common SI (System of Units) under the metric system.

CC is derived from the word “meter”. The term was coined in France. CC is precisely 0.0001 percent of a cubic meter.

CC has also a relationship with ML. That means 1 CC is equal to 1 ML. Further, 1 cubic meter will equal 1000000 CC and if one has to relate it to ML it would be 1000000 ML. 1,000 cubic centimeters of water will fit into a 1-liter bottle. CC is precisely 0.0001 percent of a cubic meter.

CC is highly used as a unit of measure in research-based or biological domains.  CC is also used in medical and science fields such as indicating blood loss or transfusion.

Ideally, before converting any liquids into the measurement of ML or liters, it is preferred to first determine the volume in CC or cubic meter. Further use of CC may also be observed in motor vehicle space such as indicating, for example, the motorbike has 1000 CC engine.


What is ML?

ML is the written abbreviated form of milliliter or milliliters. The base unit of ML is a liter. ML is a term invented from the French metric system. ML denotes 1/1,000 of a liter (that is one-thousandth of a liter).

ML is also referred to as the SI unit CC.

ML is a commonly preferred unit of volume for gases or liquids. ML is a term most frequently in use or associated with doctors, pathologists, and dispensing chemists or even in automotive engineering.

Example, 100 ML of a tonic or 1 ML of the blood sample. ML is a term normally associated with home use or even Ayurveda, for example- someone may say, boil the water and 10 ML of honey.

Even for commercial use, the ML may be used such as – the wall paint is available in bottles varying from 100 ML to 2 liters.


Main Differences Between CC and ML

  1. The base unit of CC is the cubic meter. The base unit of ML is the litre.
  2. CC is derived from the meter. ML is derived from liters.
  3. CC is precisely 0.0001 percent of a cubic meter. ML is 0.001 percent of a liter.
  4. CC is used for measurement of tubes or for measuring small quantities of liquid, cylinders, containers for laboratory use. ML is used for measurement of liquids in day to day life such as water bottles, beverages, juices, milk packets, and so on.
  5. CC as a concept may not be known to many people. ML is a common concept with which people are aware of.
  6. CC may not be a preferred model for measurement of liquids because it is derived from the base unit “meter” which is a measure of length, not volume. ML is a preferred measurement for liquids because it is derived from liter which is a preferred mode to measure the volume of liquids.



The possibility of either using CC or ML will depend on the type of material being measured. Ideally, as far as liquids are concerned, it would be apt to measure them in liters and hence ML will be appropriate.

For example, mineral water sold in bottles is measured in ML, so is the case with petrol or diesel. Also, ML is a concept with which common people are more cognizant of and accustomed to.

Although there are multiple differences between CC and ML, finally they are interchangeable and represent the same measurement. Further, volume in CC can be converted to a volume in ML and vice versa.

Therefore, the final use of either an ML or CC will depend on how comfortable a person is using the said measurement in real-life scenarios and the final result intended with the use.



  1. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/cubic-centimeter
  2. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/milliliter
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