Difference between Celsius, Centigrade and Fahrenheit?


The Fahrenheit, Celsius and Centigrade are the most common terms of temperature scales. However, these scales have different measurements used for the freezing and boiling points of water and use different sized degrees.


What is Celsius?

This is the most common temperature scale in the world and the simplest to understand. Interestingly, centigrade is an old fashioned name for Celsius. The freezing point of water for Celsius is 0°C, whereas the boiling point of water is 100°C.

The abbreviate of Celsius is to °C. This temperature scale was invented and named after Swedish scientist Anders Celsius (1701-1744) in 1742.


What is Fahrenheit?

Fahrenheit is still in everyday use in the USA mainly and preferred by older people in the UK. The freezing point of water for Fahrenheit is 32°F, whereas the boiling point of water is 212°F. The abbreviate of Fahrenheit is to °F.

This temperature scale was invented and named after its originator Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686-1736) in 1724, who was a German born scientist.


So what was Centigrade?

Centigrade is the old fashioned name for Celsius as mentioned above. The name Centigrade was derived from the Latin originally meaning a hundred degrees. When Anders Celsius created his original scale in 1742 he inexplicably chose 0° for the boiling point and 100° for the freezing point.

A little over one year later Frenchman Jean Pierre Cristin proposed an inverted version of the scale (freezing point 0°, boiling point 100°).

He named it Centigrade. Then, in 1948, by international agreement, Cristin’s adapted scale became known as Celsius to honour the Swedish Scientist, who first invented this temperature scale.


What is the difference between them?

Celsius, Centigrade & Fahrenheit are all temperature scales. All thermometer temperatures can be expressed in either Celsius or Fahrenheit. Both scales have the same value at -40°: -40°C = -40°F. To convert between Celsius or Fahrenheit you can use the following equations:


°C = °F – 32 x (5/9)

°F = °C / (5/9) + 32


Can we help you with anything?

Are you looking for any product in particular? We offer a vast array of thermometers for different temperature measurement across all sectors and a multitude of applications.


Click here for industrial thermometers and instrumentation.

Click here for scientific thermometers, educational products and accessories.

Click here for catering thermometers and accessories.

Click here for thermometers for the home, greenhouse and garden.

Click here for medical thermometers, including animal health products.


Please contact us if you have a specific order or enquiry not listed above.