Definitions

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

  • noun The grain of barley.
  • noun A unit of measure equal to the length of a grain of barley, or about 1/3 inch (0.85 centimeter).

from The Century Dictionary.

  • A grain of barley.
  • A measure equal to the third part of an inch; originally, the length of a grain of barley.
  • A measure equal to the breadth of a fine grain of barley, about 0.155 inch.

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

  • noun A grain or “corn” of barley.
  • noun Formerly , a measure of length, equal to the average length of a grain of barley; the third part of an inch.
  • noun a humorous personification of barley as the source of malt liquor or whisky.

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

  • noun A grain of barley.
  • noun obsolete The length of such a grain; a unit of length of approximately one third (or sometimes one quarter) of an inch or eight millimetres, still used as a basis for shoe sizes
  • noun architecture, woodworking A small groove between two mouldings.

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

  • noun a grain of barley
  • noun a grain of barley

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

barley + corn

Examples

Comments

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  • An old unit of length (from the length of a grain of barley) equal to one-third of an inch.

    November 7, 2007

  • used as the basis of shoe size measurements, much to the panelists' amazement on QI:

    playing poker with a witch

    October 12, 2011