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A measurement of land - originally as much land as a yoke of oxen couldplough in a day.
This originally meant a field of any size - coming from the Anglo-Saxon word aecer, meaning land that has been sown. Under Edward 1, the word became more definitive, but it wasn"t until George 1V that the measurement was standardised for the whole country.
Even today, Scottish and Irish acres may vary from the English 43,560 square feet (or 1/640th of a square mile). Countries using the metric system measure land in hectares, a hectare being 10,000 square meters, or 2.47 acres.