A dunam or dönüm, dunum, donum, dynym, dulum was a non-SI unit of land area used in the Ottoman Empire and representing the amount of land that can be plowed in a day; its value varied from 900–2500 m². In many formerly Ottoman regions, it is now defined as exactly one decare (1000 m²).

It was defined as "forty standard paces in length and breadth",[1] but varied considerably from place to place.



The name dönüm, from the Ottoman Turkish دونمك / dönmek (to turn) appears to be a calque of the Byzantine stremma and had the same size. It was likely adopted by the Ottomans from the Byzantines in Mysia-Bithynia.[2] In Arabic, the word is spelled دونم (dūnam) which is "a square measure (Iraq= about 2500 m²; Palestine= roughly, 1000 m²)."[3]



In Bulgaria, the decare (декар) is used.


In Northern Cyprus the donum is 14,400 square feet (1,338 m2). In the Republic of Cyprus older Greek Cypriots also still refer to the donum, although this is gradually being replaced by another local Greek Cypriot dialect word, σκάλες ['skales], rather than the mainland Greek word stremma. However, officially Cyprus uses the square metre.


In Iraq, the dunam is 2,500 square metres (0.25 ha).[citation needed]

Israel, Syria, Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey

In Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Syria, and Turkey the dunam is 1,000 square metres (10,764 sq ft), which is 1 decare. Before the end of the Ottoman Empire and during the early years of the British Mandate of Palestine, the size of a dönüm was 919.3 square metres (9,895 sq ft), but in 1928 the metric dunam of 1,000 square metres (0.10 ha) was adopted, and this is still used.[4]

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia

In Bosnia and Herzegvina and also Serbia, the unit is called dunum (дунум) but sometimes it's mistakenly called dulum (дулум). It is equal to 1,000 square meters[5]


Other countries using a dunam of some size include Libya, Syria, Albania, and the countries of the former Yugoslavia.[citation needed]

The Greek stremma has the same size as the metric dunam.[citation needed]

The metric dunam is particularly useful in hydrological calculations as 1 dunam times 1 mm (a unit commonly used for measuring precipitation) equals exactly one cubic meter.


A metric dunam is equal to:

  • 1,000 square metres (exactly)
  • 10 ares (exactly)
  • 1 decare (exactly)
  • 0.1 hectares (exactly)
  • 0.001 square kilometres (exactly)

See also

  • Feddan, a similar non-SI unit of area used in Egypt, Sudan, and Syria.
  • Resm-i donum, a land tax based on the area of a farm.


  1. ^ V.L. Ménage, Review of Speros Vryonis, Jr. The decline of medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the process of islamization from the eleventh through the fifteenth century, Berkeley, 1971; in Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) 36:3 (1973), pp. 659-661. at JSTOR (subscription required)
  2. ^ Ménage, op.cit.
  3. ^ Cowan, J. Milton; Arabic-English Dictionary, The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (4th Edition, Spoken Languages Services, Inc.; 1994; p. 351)
  4. ^ El-Eini, Roza I.M. (2006). "Currency and Measures". Mandated landscape: British imperial rule in Palestine, 1929-1948. Routledge. p. xxiii. ISBN 9780714654263. http://books.google.com/books?id=ekQOAAAAQAAJ&dq=El-Eini+%22Mandated+Landscape%22&printsec=frontcover&ct=result#PPR23,M1. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  5. ^ "Мерне јединице у КЗ и КН" (in Serbian). Republic Geodetic Authority of the Republic of Serbia. http://www.rgz.gov.rs/template1.asp?PageName=merne_jedinice&MenuID=0000162&LanguageID=1. Retrieved 6 September 2010. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dunam — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda El dunam, dönüm, dunum o donum es una unidad de superficie. No es una unidad del SI. Originalmente, un dönüm (del turco otomano ﺿﻨﻤﻕ / dönmek, vuelta) era la cantidad de tierra que un hombre podía arar en un día, lo… …   Wikipedia Español

  • dunam — [doon′əm] n. in Israel, a unit of land measure equal to 1,000 square meters (about 1/ 4 acre) * * * …   Universalium

  • dunam — [doon′əm] n. in Israel, a unit of land measure equal to 1,000 square meters (about 1/ 4 acre) …   English World dictionary

  • Dunam — Das Dunam, auch Dönüm, Dunum, Donum, ist eines von mehreren gängigen Flächenmaßen aus Vorderasien. Es hat seinen Ursprung im Osmanischen Reich, wo es die Fläche bezeichnete, die ein Mann an einem Tag pflügen kann (vgl. Morgen (Einheit), Acre… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • dunam — noun /ˈdʊn.əm/ a measure of land in the Ottoman Empire and successive states, including Israel, where it corresponds to about 900 square metres in Palestine, or about 2500 square metres in Iraq. You pay eight marks and they plant a dunam of land… …   Wiktionary

  • dunam — [ dʊnəm] noun a measure of land area used in parts of the Middle East, including Israel (where it is equal to about 900 square metres). Origin from mod. Heb. dûnām or Arab. dūnum, from Turk. dönüm, from dönmek go round …   English new terms dictionary

  • Dunam — Dounam Un dounam ou dönüm, dounum, donum est une unité de mesure de surface. Elle n appartient pas au système international d unités. L unité SI correspondante est le mètre carré (m²). À l origine, le dönüm (en turc ottoman : ضنمق / dönmek… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • dunam — n. area of 1000 square meters …   English contemporary dictionary

  • dunam — du·nam …   English syllables

  • dunam — …   Useful english dictionary

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