Cubic centimeters is the correct unit for measuring the volume of a solid. By contrast, liters are the correct units for measuring the volume of a liquid. For substances such as water, with a specific gravity of 1, each cubic centimeter of the liquid is equal to 1 milliliter of the liquid. However, most liquids have different specific gravities, so this relationship is not universal.
An individual can determine the volume of regular solids by multiplying their height in centimeters by their length in centimeters by their width in centimeters. For instance, a cube that is 10 centimeters long, 10 centimeters tall and 10 centimeters wide contains a volume of 1,000 cubic centimeters.
To measure the volume of an irregularly shaped object, water displacement is an effective technique. By placing an object in a graduated cylinder with a known quantity of water, the rise in the level of water indicates the volume of the object. For example, if a small rock is placed in a cylinder with 50 cubic centimeters of water, and the water rises to the 100 cubic centimeter mark, it means the rock displaced 50 cubic centimeters of water, and therefore has a volume of 50 cubic centimeters.