The stere or stère (st) is a unit of volume in the original metric system equal to one cubic metre. The name was coined from the Greek στερεός stereos, "solid", in 1793 France as a metric analogue to the cord. The stère is typically used for measuring large quantities of firewood or other cut wood,[1] while the cubic meter is used for uncut wood.[2] It is not part of the modern metric system (SI).

The stère as a cubic metre of stacked firewood

In Dutch and German, a closely related unit called kuub (Dutch), short for kubieke meter, or "Kubikmeter" (German) which differs from a stere. Whereas a "kuub" or "Kubikmeter" is a solid cubic metre, as it was traditionally used for wood, a stère (in German: Raummeter) is a cubic metre pile of woodblocks. A stère or Raummeter is less than a kuub or full cubic metre of wood, because the spaces between the woodblocks are included in a stère, while they do not count towards a kuub or Kubikmeter. In Finnish, the same unit is known as motti (from Swedish mått, "measure").

The stère as used in contexts outside the timber industry is not subject to the same ambiguity.[3] In particular, stère and kilostère are sometimes used in hydrology, as the kilostere (1000 m3 or megalitre) is a slightly smaller metric analog of an acre-foot (approximately 1233 m3), similar to the relationship of the tonne to the short ton.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Thierry Thomasset. "Le stère" (PDF). Tout sur les unités de mesure [All about the units of measure] (in French). Université de Technologie de Compiègne. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
  2. ^ For example:"Rough guide to calculating timber volumes" (PDF). Forestry Commission.
  3. ^ Webster 1913
  4. ^ [1] doi:10.1126/science.34.885.813