The poise (symbol P, /ˈpɔɪz/) is the unit of dynamic viscosity in the centimetre–gram–second system of units.[1] It is named after Jean Léonard Marie Poiseuille.

The analogous unit in the International System of Units is the pascal-second (Pa·s):

The poise is often used with the metric prefix centi- because the viscosity of water at 20 °C is almost exactly 1 centipoise. A centipoise is one hundredth of a poise, equal to one millipascal-second (mPa·s) in SI units (1 cP = 10−3 Pa·s = 1 mPa·s).

The centipoise is properly abbreviated cP, but the alternative abbreviations cps, cp, and cPs are also commonly seen.

Water has a viscosity of 0.00899 poises at 25 °C and a pressure of 1 atmosphere (0.00899 P = 0.899cP = 0.899 mPa·s).[2]

See also

Look up poise in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.


  1. Gooch, Jan W. (2010). Encyclopedia dictionary of polymers. (2nd ed.). Berlin: Springer. ISBN 978-1-4419-6246-1.
  2. "Viscosity of Liquids", in CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 89th Edition (Internet Version 2009), David R. Lide, ed., CRC Press/Taylor and Francis, Boca Raton, FL.

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