Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Dram (unit)

Dram (unit)

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Dram (unit)'
Start a new discussion about 'Dram (unit)'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The dram was historically both a coin
Coin
A coin is a piece of hard material that is standardized in weight, is produced in large quantities in order to facilitate trade, and primarily can be used as a legal tender token for commerce in the designated country, region, or territory....

 and a weight
Weight
In science and engineering, the weight of an object is the force on the object due to gravity. Its magnitude , often denoted by an italic letter W, is the product of the mass m of the object and the magnitude of the local gravitational acceleration g; thus:...

. Currently it is both a small mass
Mass
Mass can be defined as a quantitive measure of the resistance an object has to change in its velocity.In physics, mass commonly refers to any of the following three properties of matter, which have been shown experimentally to be equivalent:...

 in the Apothecaries' system
Apothecaries' system
The apothecaries' system of weights is a historical system of mass units that were used by physicians and apothecaries for medical recipes, and also sometimes by scientists. The English version of the system is closely related with the English troy system of weights, the pound and grain being...

 of weight
Weight
In science and engineering, the weight of an object is the force on the object due to gravity. Its magnitude , often denoted by an italic letter W, is the product of the mass m of the object and the magnitude of the local gravitational acceleration g; thus:...

s and a small unit
Imperial unit
The system of imperial units or the imperial system is the system of units first defined in the British Weights and Measures Act of 1824, which was later refined and reduced. The system came into official use across the British Empire...

 of volume
Volume
Volume is the quantity of three-dimensional space enclosed by some closed boundary, for example, the space that a substance or shape occupies or contains....

. This unit is called more correctly fluid dram or in contraction also fluidram.

Ancient unit of mass

  • The Greek drachm is a weight of Greek mine
    Mina (unit)
    The mina is an ancient Near Eastern unit of weight equivalent to 60 shekels. The mina, like the shekel, was also a unit of currency; in ancient Greece it was equal to 100 drachmae. In the first century AD, it amounted to about a fourth of the wages earned annually by an agricultural worker...

    , which is about 4.37 grams.
  • The Roman drachm is a weight of Roman pounds, which is about 3.41 gram
    Gram
    The gram is a metric system unit of mass....

    s.


Greek and Roman drachm are related by the approximate ratio 32 : 25.

The Ottoman dirhem is based on the Sassanian drachm, which is itself based on the Roman dram/drachm. Modern Armenian dram
Armenian dram
The dram is the monetary unit of Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. It is subdivided into 100 luma . The word "dram" translates into English as "money" and is cognate with the Greek drachma...

s, the currency of the Republic of Armenia, share this origin.

Modern unit of mass


In the avoirdupois
Avoirdupois
The avoirdupois system is a system of weights based on a pound of 16 ounces. It is the everyday system of weight used in the United States and is still widely used to varying degrees by many people in Canada, the United Kingdom, and some other former British colonies despite the official adoption...

 system, the dram is the mass of  pound
Pound (mass)
The pound or pound-mass is a unit of mass used in the Imperial, United States customary and other systems of measurement...

 or  ounce
Ounce
The ounce is a unit of mass with several definitions, the most commonly used of which are equal to approximately 28 grams. The ounce is used in a number of different systems, including various systems of mass that form part of the imperial and United States customary systems...

. So the dram weighs  grains or exactly  gram
Gram
The gram is a metric system unit of mass....

s.

The dram is also the mass of  pound
Pound (mass)
The pound or pound-mass is a unit of mass used in the Imperial, United States customary and other systems of measurement...

 (℔) or  ounce
Ounce
The ounce is a unit of mass with several definitions, the most commonly used of which are equal to approximately 28 grams. The ounce is used in a number of different systems, including various systems of mass that form part of the imperial and United States customary systems...

 (℥) in the apothecaries' system
Apothecaries' system
The apothecaries' system of weights is a historical system of mass units that were used by physicians and apothecaries for medical recipes, and also sometimes by scientists. The English version of the system is closely related with the English troy system of weights, the pound and grain being...

 that survived until the middle of the 20th century in English-speaking countries. It is equal to 3 scruples (℈) or 60 grains (G). Thus, it is equal to exactly  gram
Gram
The gram is a metric system unit of mass....

s.

Unit of volume


The fluid dram is defined as of a fluid ounce
Fluid ounce
A fluid ounce is a unit of volume equal to about 28.4 mL in the imperial system or about 29.6 mL in the US system. The fluid ounce is distinct from the ounce, which measures mass...

, which means it is exactly equal to
  • 3.696 691 195 312 5 mL in the United States and
  • 3.551 632 812 500 0 mL in the Commonwealth and Ireland.


In the United Kingdom, a teaspoon
Teaspoon
A teaspoon, an item of cutlery, is a small spoon, commonly part of a silverware place setting, suitable for stirring and sipping the contents of a cup of tea or coffee...

 was formerly defined as one and one half fluid dram (it is now 5 mL).

"Dram" is also used as a measure of the powder charge in a shotgun shell.

4 Drams is the measurement of 1/2 a bottle of promoter.

Dram is also used informally to mean a small amount of liquid
Liquid
Liquid is one of the three classical states of matter . Like a gas, a liquid is able to flow and take the shape of a container. Some liquids resist compression, while others can be compressed. Unlike a gas, a liquid does not disperse to fill every space of a container, and maintains a fairly...

, especially Scotch whisky
Scotch whisky
Scotch whisky is whisky made in Scotland.Scotch whisky is divided into five distinct categories: Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Single Grain Scotch Whisky, Blended Malt Scotch Whisky , Blended Grain Scotch Whisky, and Blended Scotch Whisky.All Scotch whisky must be aged in oak barrels for at least three...

.
In this case the "dram" will usually be 30 ml - see Alcoholic spirits measures
Alcoholic spirits measures
Alcoholic spirits measures are instruments designed to measure exact amounts or shots of alcoholic spirits.The Weights and Measures Act of 1963 made it illegal in Britain for businesses to give short weights or short measures to consumers...

.

Images