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A liter is a specific measurement of volume. Volume is the amount of three dimensional space enclosed by a closed boundary. Volumes typically are used to refer to liquids but they are sometimes used in reference to gasses and solids. A liter is equal to 1.056688 quarts. To understand this better, picture a gallon of milk. It takes 4 quarts of milk to make up one gallon of milk. Since one liter is a little bit more than one quart, 4 liters of milk is a little bit more than one gallon of milk. It takes one thousand milliliters to equal one liter. One milliliter is equal to one cubic centimeter (often referred to as cc) and one cubic decimeter (abbreviated as dm3). These measurements are based on those used in the United States.
Liter is often abbreviated as "L" or "l." However, it is recommend that the upper case L is used since the lowercase l can easily be misread as the number 1. If the lowercase l is used it is sometimes written is cursive so it is not confused with the letter I or the number 1. Liter is sometimes spelled as litre. Liter comes from the Greek word "litra" meaning "pound."