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How Big is an Acre

Suketu Mehta Jun 22, 2019
It is a common fact that acre is a unit of land measurement. Here is a brief overview of how big is an acre in terms of square feet, square meters, and square yards.
"A thousand acres that can feed a thousand souls is better than ten thousand acres of no more effect." - William Petty
We often come across people, who talk about the acres of land they own, somewhere in the countryside, outside the city. Once the conversation is over, we find ourselves trying to figure out exactly how much land does the person own.
In most of the cases, the problem lies in the basics, where you do not know how big is one acre? How many feet (or square feet) make up an acre of land? Let us find out.

Origin of the Word 'Acre'

The word acre originated from the old English word - aecer, which means an open field. Oddly enough, the word acre, is derived from a word which means an unspecified amount of land!
During early times, farmers in England used to define acre as the area which they could plow in one day, with a pair of oxen. So, there was no standard measurement that could be termed as an acre, as the area plowed in one day, varied from one farmer to another. Each farmer managed to plow a different amount of land in a given day.
King Edward I of England was the first person to standardize the measurement of an acre. The king said that an area of land measuring up to 40 rods long and 3 rods wide can be termed as an acre (one rod approximately being 5 ½ yards in length). But, in spite of this, there were variations in the size of an acre, all over England.

Exact Size of an Acre

Q. An acre in square feet?
A. 43,560 square feet

Q. An acre in square meters?
A. 4,046.86 square meters

Q. An acre in square yards?
A. 4,840 square yards

Q. An acre in hectare?
A. 0.4047 hectare

Approximation of an Acre

Though you have a basic understanding about conversion of the unit of land measurement, it may get difficult for you to visualize the exact size of an acre of land. Here are a few references to help out in such situations.
☛ An acre would approximately be three-fourth the size of an American football field. If you exclude the two 30-feet-long end zones in the football field, the area you are left with would be slightly bigger than an acre.
☛ An acre would approximately be the area required to park 200 cars; as seen in malls, cinema houses, or supermarkets with huge parking spaces.

☛ In case you love watching or playing soccer, then you could keep in mind that an acre is approximately one-third of a standard soccer field.
So, from now on, you can easily convert acres into various metric measurements, such as square feet, square meters, or square yards. Have fun!