Is 1 mL equal to 1 cc?

Quick Answer

Yes, 1 milliliter (mL) is equal to 1 cubic centimeter (cc). The milliliter and cubic centimeter are different units of volume that are equivalent. Both units are derived from the meter in the metric system. 1 mL is defined as 1/1000th of a liter, while 1 cc is defined as the volume of a cube with sides measuring 1 centimeter. Since 1 centimeter cubed (1 cm x 1 cm x 1 cm) equals 1 milliliter, the two units can be used interchangeably. Both are commonly used in medicine and science for measuring small volumes of liquids and gases.

What is a Milliliter?

A milliliter (mL) is a metric unit of volume equal to 1/1000 of a liter. The milliliter is commonly used to measure small amounts of liquids or gases.

The milliliter is based on the metric system’s standard unit of volume, the liter. The liter itself is defined as 1 cubic decimeter. A decimeter is one tenth of a meter. So a liter is the volume occupied by a cube with 10 cm sides.

Since a milliliter is 1/1000 of a liter, it is the volume occupied by a cube with sides equal to 1/10 of a centimeter. This works out to exactly 1 cubic centimeter.

Some examples of milliliter volumes:

  • 1 mL of water occupies the same space as a 1 cm x 1 cm x 1 cm cube
  • A standard aspirin tablet is about 300 mL in volume
  • 1 mL is about 20 drops from an eyedropper

The milliliter is commonly abbreviated as mL or ml. It is mostly used in science and medicine, for measuring volumes of liquids like medications, injectables, and reagents.

What is a Cubic Centimeter?

A cubic centimeter (cc or cm3) is another unit of volume derived from the metric system. It is defined as the volume occupied by a cube that measures 1 centimeter on each side.

Since a centimeter is 1/100 of a meter, a cubic centimeter is the same as:

(1/100 meter) x (1/100 meter) x (1/100 meter) = 1/1000000 meter3

This works out to exactly 1 milliliter! So 1 cc is equivalent to 1 mL.

The cubic centimeter is also commonly abbreviated as cc or cm3. Like the milliliter, it is used for measuring small volumes in science and medicine.

Some examples of cubic centimeter volumes:

  • A sugar cube is about 1 cc in volume
  • A standard die is about 1.7 cc
  • 1 cc of water occupies the same space as a 1 cm x 1 cm x 1 cm cube

The Relationship Between 1 mL and 1 cc

As we have seen, 1 mL and 1 cc are different units that measure the same volume. This is because:

  • 1 mL = 1/1000 liter
  • 1 cc = 1/100 meter x 1/100 meter x 1/100 meter = 1/1000000 meter3

And since 1 liter = 1000 cm3, 1 mL also equals 1 cm3.

So 1 milliliter has the exact same volume as 1 cubic centimeter. The two units are interchangeable.

This 1:1 equivalence can be summarized as:

1 mL = 1 cc

Some additional relationships between the two units:

  • 1 mL water occupies the same volume as 1 cc water
  • A 5 mL syringe will hold the same volume as a 5 cc syringe
  • 0.1 mL = 0.1 cc

No matter what substance is being measured, if the volume is the same, the mL and cc values will also be equal.

When to Use mL vs. cc

Since 1 mL and 1 cc are interchangeable, which unit should you use? Here are some general guidelines:

Use mL when:

  • Measuring medicines like cough syrups, injectables, etc.
  • Following recipes that specify teaspoon or tablespoon amounts
  • Measuring volumes using pipettes, burettes, or graduated cylinders in a lab

Use cc when:

  • Measuring engine displacement (e.g. a 600 cc motorcycle engine)
  • Specifying syringe size (e.g. a 10 cc syringe)
  • Describing cubic dimensions and volume (e.g. a 2 cm x 5 cm x 3 cm block has a volume of 30 cc)

So in medicine, food, and general liquid volume measurements, mL is more common. In engineering contexts, cc is the standard unit. But either can be used in any situation requiring small volume measurements.

Converting Between mL and cc

Because 1 mL = 1 cc exactly, converting between the units is trivial.

To convert mL to cc, simply use the 1:1 ratio:

mL to cc:

  • 1 mL = 1 cc
  • 5 mL = 5 cc
  • 0.1 mL = 0.1 cc
  • 1000 mL = 1000 cc

To go the other way, from cc to mL:

cc to mL:

  • 1 cc = 1 mL
  • 5 cc = 5 mL
  • 0.1 cc = 0.1 mL
  • 1000 cc = 1000 mL

So no calculations are needed, just match up the volumes.

For example, to convert 20 mL to cc:
20 mL x (1 cc / 1 mL) = 20 cc

And to convert 36 cc to mL:
36 cc x (1 mL / 1 cc) = 36 mL

Milliliters, Cubic Centimeters and Fluid Ounces

Besides mL and cc, another common unit for fluid volumes is the fluid ounce (fl oz). How do milliliters and cubic centimeters compare to fluid ounces?

The relationships are:

  • 1 milliliter = 0.03 fluid ounces
  • 1 fluid ounce = 29.57 milliliters
  • 1 cubic centimeter = 0.03 fluid ounces
  • 1 fluid ounce = 29.57 cubic centimeters

So 1 milliliter or cubic centimeter is a little less than 1/3 (0.03) of a fluid ounce.

To convert between mL or cc and fluid ounces:

mL/cc to fl oz:

  • 10 mL = 0.34 fl oz
  • 100 mL = 3.38 fl oz
  • 1 mL = 0.03 fl oz

fl oz to mL/cc:

  • 1 fl oz = 29.57 mL
  • 0.5 fl oz = 14.79 mL
  • 0.03 fl oz = 1 mL

So a kitchen measuring spoon of 5 mL is about 0.17 fluid ounces. And a 1 fl oz shot glass holds around 29.6 mL.

Examples of 1 mL and 1 cc Volumes

To get an idea of how small 1 mL and 1 cc are:

  • A single raindrop is about 0.05 mL or 0.05 cc
  • A teaspoon is about 5 mL or 5 cc
  • An aspirin tablet is 300 mL or 300 cc
  • A 1 liter soda bottle is 1000 mL or 1000 cc
  • The human stomach holds around 1000 mL or 1000 cc when full

Some more examples:

Liquid Volume Milliliters Cubic Centimeters
Shot glass 29.6 mL 29.6 cc
Test tube 10-20 mL 10-20 cc
1 drop (from dropper) 0.05-0.1 mL 0.05-0.1 cc
Syringe 1-60 mL 1-60 cc
Wine glass 120-240 mL 120-240 cc
Cup of coffee 240 mL 240 cc

As you can see, 1 mL and 1 cc are very small volumes! But they become essential units when measuring out liquids like medications, chemicals, and samples in a science lab or medical setting.

Key Points About 1 ml and 1 cc

To summarize the relationship between 1 mL and 1 cc:

  • A milliliter (mL) and a cubic centimeter (cc) are both metric units of volume.
  • They are equal to each other: 1 mL = 1 cc exactly.
  • 1 mL is defined as 1/1000 of a liter.
  • 1 cc is the volume of a 1 cm x 1 cm x 1 cm cube.
  • mL is commonly used in medicine and cooking.
  • cc is more common in science and engineering.
  • No conversion is needed between them since 1:1 ratio.
  • 1 mL and 1 cc are small volumes – about 1/3 of a teaspoon.

So if a medical dosage is given in cc, it can be dispensed using a syringe marked in mL. Or if a recipe calls for 1 mL of vanilla, a 1 cc measuring spoon can be used instead.

The mL = cc equality allows flexibility between the units. Just be aware that cc is sometimes used instead of mL, even when measuring liquids.


In summary, 1 milliliter and 1 cubic centimeter represent the same volume. The milliliter is more commonly used when measuring volumes of liquids like solvents, medications, and reagents. The cubic centimeter is preferred for engineering applications involving cubic dimensions and volumes. But both units have the exact 1:1 equivalence of:

1 mL = 1 cc

So values in milliliters can always be converted to equivalent cubic centimeters and vice versa. Just matching the numerical values between mL and cc provides the correct volume conversion. Knowing the 1 mL = 1 cc relationship allows flexibility between the units and understanding of volumes stated either way.

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