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.


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

Middle English, from Old French, of Germanic origin.
After Sir William Gage (1656?-1727), English botanist.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.



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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