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

  • noun The state, quality, or fact of being long.
  • noun The measurement of the extent of something along its greatest dimension.
  • noun A piece, often of a standard size, that is normally measured along its greatest dimension.
  • noun A measure used as a unit to estimate distances.
  • noun Extent or distance from beginning to end.
  • noun The amount of time between specified moments; the duration.
  • noun Extent or degree to which an action or policy is carried.
  • noun The duration of a vowel.
  • noun The duration of a syllable.
  • noun The vertical extent of a garment. Often used in combination.
  • idiom (at length) After some time; eventually.
  • idiom (at length) For a considerable time; fully.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To extend; lengthen.
  • noun In the brachiopod shell, the distance from the apex of the more projecting valve axially to the anterior margin.
  • noun In the pelecypod shell, commonly the greatest distance across the shell fore and aft, but more correctly the distance from the beak obliquely along the crescence-line, or line of most rapid growth.
  • noun In cricket: The distance between the bowler's wicket and the spot where the ball pitches: said of a ball bowled.
  • noun The proper distance at which a ball bowled should pitch; a good pitch.
  • noun The property of being long or extended in a single direction; also, that which is long.
  • noun Distance along a line, as measured, for example, upon the circumference of a wheel that rolls over it: as, the length of a road, a river, or the arc of a curve.
  • noun The magnitude of the greatest principal axis of a body or figure; one of the dimensions of a body, the others being breadth and thickness. See dimension, 1.
  • noun Reach; power of reaching; extent of range: as, the length of one's vision or of a view.
  • noun Extent of or in time; duration; continuance: as, the length of a day or a year, or of life; the length of a battle or a performance; a discourse of tedious length.
  • noun In orthoëpy and prosody:
  • noun The time occupied in uttering a vowel or syllable; quantity.
  • noun The quality of a vowel as long or short, according to the conventional distinction of long and short in English pronunciation.
  • noun The quality of a syllable as metrically accented or unaccented in modern or accentual poetry. See long, adjective
  • noun A piece or portion of the extent of anything in space or time; a part of what is extended or elongated: as, a length of rope; a dress-length; to cut anything into short lengths: often used specifically of a definite portion, of known extent, of the thing spoken of, as of an acting drama (namely, forty or forty-two lines): as, an actor's part of six lengths; won by a length (that is, of the horse, boat, etc., engaged in the contest).
  • noun In archery, the distance from the archer to the target he is to shoot at.
  • noun After a time; at last; at the end, or at a point of transition: as, at length he came to a spring; at length they were subdued.
  • noun To go to the extent of; rise to the pitch or height of: commonly used of inordinate action or speech: as, he went to the length of tearing down his house, of denying his identity, or of sacrificing his own interests.

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

  • transitive verb obsolete To lengthen.
  • noun The longest, or longer, dimension of any object, in distinction from breadth or width; extent of anything from end to end; the longest line which can be drawn through a body, parallel to its sides
  • noun A portion of space or of time considered as measured by its length; -- often in the plural.
  • noun The quality or state of being long, in space or time; extent; duration
  • noun A single piece or subdivision of a series, or of a number of long pieces which may be connected together
  • noun Detail or amplification; unfolding; continuance as, to pursue a subject to a great length.
  • noun obsolete Distance.
  • noun At the end or conclusion; after a long period. See Syn. of At last, under Last.
  • noun See under Arm.

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

  • noun The measurement of distance along the longest dimension of an object.
  • noun duration
  • noun horse racing The length of a horse, used to indicate the distance between horses at the end of a race.
  • noun mathematics Distance between the two ends of a line segment.
  • noun cricket The distance down the pitch that the ball bounces on its way to the batsman.
  • noun figuratively : total extent
  • noun part of something that's long, a physical piece of something
  • verb obsolete To lengthen.

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

  • noun the property of being the extent of something from beginning to end
  • noun size of the gap between two places


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

[Middle English, from Old English lengthu; see del- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English lengþu


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  • Therefore, the workpiece has to be cut to size very exactly before being bent The required blank length is called “stretched length” and is to be calculated from the length of the neutral axis.

    4. Fundamentals of Calculation B. Zierenberg 1990

  • Now the “forever,” in the conclusion, means, for any length of time that can be supposed; but in the premises, “ever” does not mean any _length_ of time; it means any _number of subdivisions_ of time.

    A System Of Logic, Ratiocinative And Inductive John Stuart Mill 1839

  • Loop % fieldCount% length: = GetUIntAtAddress (lengths, A_Index - 1) fieldPointer: = GetUIntAtAddress (row, A_Index - 1); OutputDebug l: % length%/fp: % fieldPointer%

    AutoHotkey Community 2010

  • - collections have sizes, not "lengths" - for a few kinds of collections we can imagine them arranged in a neat ordered line, and so their size is also length, but it's really lame to name a method after special case instead of far more general "size" - hashtables have sizes not lengths, sets have sizes not lengths, and so on - #length should die in fire!

    taw's blog 2010

  • * @param integer $offset number of UTF-8 characters offset (from left) * @param integer $length (optional) length in UTF-8 characters from offset 2009

  • $POPULATION [$GENERATION] [$parent], 0, $length); my $start_length = length $POPULATION [$GENERATION+1] [$total_offspring]; for (my $add_char = $start_length; $add_char {

    Pharyngula 2009

  • Another piece about 90 feet in length is the knotting cord: Start with the midpoint of this piece behind the core about 4 to 6 inches below the nail (roll up each end and secure it with a rubber band so you won't have to pull 45 feet of loose cord through your loops).

    How To Make A Duck Call Lanyard 2009

  • Emanating from an arc about two inches above her scalp a range of fine, brilliant lights, increasing in length from the shortest by her ears to the tallest over the crown of her head were glowing and shimmering.

    BECOMING • by A P Charman 2009

  • The clubs offer tracks ranging in length from a 1. 1-mile, eight-turn road course in Aspen, Colo., to more than four miles of road at Monticello Motor Club in Monticello, N.Y. Amenities at these clubs include everything from cigar bars and rooftop dining to spas and swimming pools.

    Best Places To Speed Legally Hannah Elliott 2009

  • The first up Challambra Crescent, at 1,100 meters in length, is also the toughest, coming after 4. 6km and boasting a 13 percent maximum gradient (with an 8 percent average).

    World Championships: Dissecting the road race parcours 2010


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  • I notice that very few of the definitions and examples of the use of length refer to the dimension of time, Wine tasters refer to the length of a wine: this means the time for which the taste of the wine lingers on the tongue, indeed within the whole mouth - it is an aspect of mouthfeel. For exceptional wines the taste remains for minutes, even hours and one can go around for a whole day with the memory of a tasted wine seemingly everlastingly present.Such wines not surprisingly command high prices.

    December 6, 2011