centile chart

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centile chart (sen-tyl) n. a graph with lines showing average measurements of height, weight, and head circumference compared with age and sex, against which a child's physical development can be assessed. The lines of growth on the graph are called centiles (or percentiles), and the number of a centile predicts the percentage of children who are below that measurement at a given age; for example, the 10th centile means that 10% of the age- and sex-matched population will be smaller and 90% will be bigger. Children whose growth lies outside the 97th or 3rd centiles may need to be investigated.
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