Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Something deposited or given as security against an obligation; a pledge.
  • n. Something, such as a glove, that is offered or thrown down as a pledge or challenge to fight.
  • n. A challenge.
  • transitive v. Archaic To pledge as security.
  • transitive v. Archaic To offer as a stake in a bet; wager.
  • n. Any of several varieties of plum, such as the greengage.
  • n. Variant of gauge.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To give or deposit as a pledge or security; to pawn
  • v. To wager, to bet.
  • n. Something, such as a glove or other pledge thrown down as a challenge to combat (now usually figurative).
  • n. Alternative spelling of gauge. Used especially as a technical term of measuring devices and standard measures.
  • n. A form of jewelry which creates a hole of variable size in the earlobe, popular especially among some young people in the West, perhaps on analogy with similar devices found in various non-Western indigenous cultures.
  • n. A short form of greengage.
  • n. Something valuable deposited as a guarantee or pledge; security, ransom.
  • v. Alternative spelling of gauge. To measure.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A pledge or pawn; something laid down or given as a security for the performance of some act by the person depositing it, and forfeited by nonperformance; security.
  • n. A glove, cap, or the like, cast on the ground as a challenge to combat, and to be taken up by the accepter of the challenge; a challenge; a defiance.
  • n. A variety of plum
  • n. A measure or standard. See gauge, n.
  • transitive v. To give or deposit as a pledge or security for some act; to wage or wager; to pawn or pledge.
  • transitive v. To bind by pledge, or security; to engage.
  • transitive v. To measure. See gauge, v. t.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To pledge, pawn, or stake; give or deposit as a gage or security; wage or wager.
  • To bind by pledge, caution, or security; engage.
  • To measure the content or capacity of, as a vessel; more generally, to ascertain by test or measurement the capacity, dimensions, proportions, quantity, amount, or force of; measure or ascertain by measurement: as, to gage a barrel or other receptacle (see gaging); to gage the pressure of steam, or the force of the wind; to gage a stone for cutting it to the proper size.
  • To measure in respect to capability, power, character, or behavior; take cognizance of the capacity, capability, or power of; appraise; estimate: as, to gage a person's character very accurately.
  • In needlework, especially dressmaking, to pucker in parallel rows by means of gathering-threads, either for ornament or to hold the material firmly in place.
  • To adjust the proper quantity of water to be used in mixing hydraulic cement.
  • n. A pledge or pawn; a movable chattel laid down or given as security for the performance of some act or the fulfilment of some condition.
  • n. The act of pledging, or the state of being pledged; pawn; security.
  • n. Anything thrown down as a token of challenge to combat; hence, challenge.
  • n. A standard of measure; an instrument for determining the dimensions, capacity, quantity, force, etc., of anything; hence, any standard of comparison or estimation; measure in general: as, a gage for the thickness of wires; to take the gage of a man's ability.
  • n. Specifically— In the air-pump, an instrument of various forms for indicating the degree of exhaustion in the receiver. The kind most commonly used is the siphon-gage (which see, below).
  • n. In joinery, an instrument for striking a line on a board, etc., parallel to its edge, consisting of a square rod with a marker near its end and an adjustable sliding piece for a guide.
  • n. In printing, a measure of the length of a page, or a graduated strip of wood, metal, or cardboard for determining the number of lines of type of a certain size in a given space.
  • n. In type-founding, a piece of hard wood or polished steel, variously notched, used to adjust the dimensions, slopes, etc., of the various sorts of letters.
  • n. Same as grip, 7. (See also caliber-gage, center-gage, gaging-rod, pressure-gage, rain-gage, steam-gage, wind-gage, and phrases below.)
  • n. A standard or determinate dimension, quantity, or amount; a fixed or standard measurement.
  • n. Nautical: The depth to which a vessel sinks in the water.
  • n. The position of a ship with reference to another vessel and to the wind. When to the windward she is said to have the weather-gage; when to the leeward, the lee-gage.
  • n. A quart pot.
  • n. An instrument for measuring the diameter of the bore of a cannon at any part of its length. It consists of a graduated brass tube having at one end a head from which radiate two fixed and two movable steel points. A slider in the graduated tube pushes outward the movable points as may be necessary.
  • n. A name given to several varieties of plum: as, the green gage, golden gage, transparent gage, etc.
  • n. A pipeful of tobacco.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. street names for marijuana
  • v. place a bet on
  • n. a measuring instrument for measuring and indicating a quantity such as the thickness of wire or the amount of rain etc.

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, of Germanic origin.
After Sir William Gage (1656?-1727), English botanist.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English gage, from later Old French or early Middle French gager (verb), (also guagier in Old French) gage (noun), ultimately from Frankish *waddi, from Germanic ( > English wed). Doublet of wage, from the same origin through an Old Northern French variant. Cf. also mortgage. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • from Louis Armstrong's autobiography:

    Speaking of 1931 - we did call ourselves Vipers, which could have been anybody from all walks of life that smoked and respected gage. That was our cute little name for marijuana, and it was a misdemeanor in those days. Much different from the pressure and charges the law lays on a guy who smokes pot - a later name for the same thing which is cute to hear nowadays. We always looked at pot as a sort of medicine, a cheap drunk and with much better thoughts than one that's full of liquor. But with the penalties that came, I for one had to put it down though the respect for it (gage) will stay with me forever. I have every reason to say these words and am proud to say them. From experience.

    April 3, 2011

  • To pledge.

    May 24, 2010