from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A unit of weight in the US Customary System, an avoirdupois unit equal to 437.5 grains (28.35 grams).
  • noun A unit of apothecary weight, equal to 480 grains (31.103 grams).
  • noun A fluid ounce.
  • noun A tiny bit.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A gold coin of Australia struck in 1853.
  • noun A weight, the twelfth part of a pound troy, and the sixteenth of a pound avoirdupois.
  • noun A small quantity.
  • noun In California, in the earlier years of the gold excitement, a Spanish double doubloon, or about sixteen dollars; the old doubloon onza of Spain.
  • noun A carnivorous mammal, Felis irbis or F. uncia, of the cat family, Felidæ, closely related to but distinct from the other large spotted cats known as leopards or panthers; the snow-leopard or mountain panther.
  • noun The bay lynx or the Canada lynx.
  • noun An occasional name of the American jaguar, Felis onca.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) A feline quadruped (Felis irbis syn. Felis uncia) resembling the leopard in size, and somewhat in color, but it has longer and thicker fur, which forms a short mane on the back. The ounce is pale yellowish gray, with irregular dark spots on the neck and limbs, and dark rings on the body. It inhabits the lofty mountain ranges of Asia. Called also once.
  • noun A weight, the sixteenth part of a pound avoirdupois, and containing 28.35 grams or 4371/2 grains.
  • noun (Troy Weight) The twelfth part of a troy pound; one troy ounce weighs 31.103486 grams, 8 drams, or 480 grains.
  • noun obsolete Fig.: A small portion; a bit.
  • noun See under Fluid, n.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The snow leopard, Uncia uncia.
  • noun An avoirdupois ounce, weighing 1/16 of an avoirdupois pound, or 28.3495 grams.
  • noun A troy ounce, weighing 1/12 of a troy pound, or 480 grains, or 31.1035 grams.
  • noun A US fluid ounce, with a volume of 1/16 of a US pint, 1.804 687 cubic inches or 29.573 531 milliliters.
  • noun A British imperial fluid ounce, with a volume of 1/20 of an imperial pint, 1.733871 cubic inches or 28.413063 milliliters.
  • noun A little bit.

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

  • noun a unit of weight equal to one sixteenth of a pound or 16 drams or 28.349 grams
  • noun large feline of upland central Asia having long thick whitish fur
  • noun a unit of apothecary weight equal to 480 grains or one twelfth of a pound


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

[Middle English unce, from Old French, from Latin ūncia; see oi-no- in Indo-European roots.]

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

[Middle English unce, from Old French once, alteration of lonce, from Vulgar Latin *luncea, from Latin lynx, lync-, lynx, from Greek lunx; see leuk- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French once, from lonce ("lynx"), by false division (the l was thought to be the article), from Latin lynx, from Ancient Greek λύγξ ("lynx"). Interestingly, the taxon of the snow leopard is a Latinisation using the root of ounce (1).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French once, from Latin uncia ("1/12 part"), from ūnus ("one"). Compare inch.


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  • See the last two WeirdNet definitions. I had no idea this word described a type of wild cat.

    August 26, 2008

  • The OED marks its general 'medium-sized member of the cat family' definition as archaic, but not the specific definition 'the snow leopard, Panthera uncia'.

    Apparently this sense of 'ounce' appears in ounce stone, which is 'a precious stone mentioned by Pliny, now understood to have been amber'.

    August 29, 2008

  • Last WeirdNet is beautiful: 'any of several large cats typically able to roar'.

    November 3, 2008