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

  • n. Dimensions, quantity, or capacity as ascertained by comparison with a standard.
  • n. A reference standard or sample used for the quantitative comparison of properties: The standard kilogram is maintained as a measure of mass.
  • n. A unit specified by a scale, such as an inch, or by variable conditions, such as a day's march.
  • n. A system of measurement, such as the metric system.
  • n. A device used for measuring.
  • n. The act of measuring.
  • n. An evaluation or a basis of comparison: "the final measure of the worth of a society” ( Joseph Wood Krutch). See Synonyms at standard.
  • n. Extent or degree: The problem was in large measure caused by his carelessness.
  • n. A definite quantity that has been measured out: a measure of wine.
  • n. A fitting amount: a measure of recognition.
  • n. A limited amount or degree: a measure of good-will.
  • n. Limit; bounds: generosity knowing no measure.
  • n. Appropriate restraint; moderation: "The union of . . . fervor with measure, passion with correctness, this surely is the ideal” ( William James).
  • n. An action taken as a means to an end; an expedient. Often used in the plural: desperate measures.
  • n. A legislative bill or enactment.
  • n. Poetic meter.
  • n. Music The metric unit between two bars on the staff; a bar.
  • transitive v. To ascertain the dimensions, quantity, or capacity of: measured the height of the ceiling.
  • transitive v. To mark, lay out, or establish dimensions for by measuring: measure off an area.
  • transitive v. To estimate by evaluation or comparison: "I gave them an account . . . of the situation as far as I could measure it” ( Winston S. Churchill).
  • transitive v. To bring into comparison: She measured her power with that of a dangerous adversary.
  • transitive v. To mark off or apportion, usually with reference to a given unit of measurement: measure out a pint of milk.
  • transitive v. To allot or distribute as if by measuring; mete: The revolutionary tribunal measured out harsh justice.
  • transitive v. To serve as a measure of: The inch measures length.
  • transitive v. To consider or choose with care; weigh: He measures his words with caution.
  • transitive v. Archaic To travel over: "We must measure twenty miles today” ( Shakespeare).
  • intransitive v. To have a measurement of: The room measures 12 by 20 feet.
  • intransitive v. To take a measurement.
  • intransitive v. To allow of measurement: White sugar measures more easily than brown.
  • measure up To be the equal of something; have similar quality.
  • measure up To have the necessary qualifications: a candidate who just didn't measure up.
  • idiom beyond measure In excess.
  • idiom beyond measure Without limit.
  • idiom for good measure In addition to the required amount.
  • idiom a To a degree: The new law was in a measure harmful.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The quantity, size, weight, distance or capacity of a substance compared to a designated standard.
  • n. An (unspecified) quantity or capacity :
  • n. The precise designated distance between two objects or points.
  • n. The act of measuring.
  • n. A musical designation consisting of all notes and or rests delineated by two vertical bars; an equal and regular division of the whole of a composition.
  • n. A rule, ruler or measuring stick.
  • n. A tactic, strategy or piece of legislation.
  • n. A function that assigns a non-negative number to a given set following the mathematical nature that is common among length, volume, probability and the like.
  • n. An indicator; Something used to assess some property.
  • v. To ascertain the quantity of a unit of material via calculated comparison with respect to a standard.
  • v. To estimate the unit size of something.
  • v. To obtain or set apart; to mark in even increments.
  • v. To traverse, cross, pass along; to travel over.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A standard of dimension; a fixed unit of quantity or extent; an extent or quantity in the fractions or multiples of which anything is estimated and stated; hence, a rule by which anything is adjusted or judged.
  • n. An instrument by means of which size or quantity is measured, as a graduated line, rod, vessel, or the like.
  • n. The dimensions or capacity of anything, reckoned according to some standard; size or extent, determined and stated; estimated extent.
  • n. The contents of a vessel by which quantity is measured; a quantity determined by a standard; a stated or limited quantity or amount.
  • n. Extent or degree not excessive or beyong bounds; moderation; due restraint; esp. in the phrases, in measure; with measure; without or beyond measure.
  • n. Determined extent, not to be exceeded; limit; allotted share, as of action, influence, ability, or the like; due proportion.
  • n. The quantity determined by measuring, especially in buying and selling.
  • n. Undefined quantity; extent; degree.
  • n. Regulated division of movement.
  • n. A regulated movement corresponding to the time in which the accompanying music is performed; but, especially, a slow and stately dance, like the minuet.
  • adj. The group or grouping of beats, caused by the regular recurrence of accented beats.
  • n. The manner of ordering and combining the quantities, or long and short syllables; meter; rhythm; hence, a foot.
  • n. A number which is contained in a given number a number of times without a remainder; as in the phrases, the common measure, the greatest common measure, etc., of two or more numbers; a denominator. See common denominator under denominator.
  • n. A step or definite part of a progressive course or policy; a means to an end; an act designed for the accomplishment of an object
  • n. The act of measuring; measurement.
  • n. Beds or strata
  • intransitive v. To make a measurement or measurements.
  • intransitive v. To result, or turn out, on measuring
  • intransitive v. To be of a certain size or quantity, or to have a certain length, breadth, or thickness, or a certain capacity according to a standard measure
  • transitive v. To ascertain by use of a measuring instrument; to compute or ascertain the extent, quantity, dimensions, or capacity of, by a certain rule or standard; to take the dimensions of; hence, to estimate; to judge of; to value; to appraise.
  • transitive v. To serve as the measure of.
  • transitive v. To pass throught or over in journeying, as if laying off and determining the distance.
  • transitive v. To adjust by a rule or standard.
  • transitive v. To allot or distribute by measure; to set off or apart by measure; -- often with out or off.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To ascertain the length, extent, dimensions, quantity, or capacity of by comparison with a standard; ascertain or determine a quantity by exact observation.
  • To serve as the measure of; be adequate to express the size of: often used figuratively.
  • To estimate or determine the relative extent, greatness, or value of; appraise by comparison with something else: with by before the standard of comparison.
  • To bring into comparison or competition; oppose or set against as equal or as a test of equality: with with.
  • To pass over or through.
  • To adjust; proportion; suit; accommodate.
  • To control; regulate.
  • To allot or distribute by measure; apportion; mete: often with out.
  • To take a measurement or measurements.
  • To be of a (specified) measure; give a specified result on being compared with a standard: as, a board measures ten feet
  • n. A unit or standard adopted to determine the linear dimensions, volume, or other quantity of other objects, by the comparison of them with it; a standard for the determination of a unit of reckoning.
  • n. Hence, any standard of comparison, estimation, or judgment.
  • n. A system of measurement; a scheme of denominations or units of length, surface, volume, or the like: as, weights and measures; long measure, square measure, etc.
  • n. The dimensions or extent of a thing as determined or determinable by comparison with a unit, or standard; size; extent; capacity (literal or figurative); volume; duration; quantity in general.
  • n. An act of measurement, or comparison with a standard of quantity, or a series of such acts: as, to make clothes to measure.
  • n. A definite quantity measured off or meted out: as, a measure of wine or meal.
  • n. Used absolutely, a full or sufficient quantity.
  • n. Quantity, amount, extent, or any dimension, as measured or meted out; the result of any mensural determination or rule: as, the measure of or for the beams is 10 feet 4 inches; full or short measure.
  • n. Moderation; just degree or proportion; reasonable bounds or limits: as, beyond measure; within measure.
  • n. Degree; proportion; indefinite quantity.
  • n. In prosody: Determination of rhythm by division into times or groups of times; rhythm, as so determined; meter.
  • n. A rhythmical period or meter, especially as determined by division into such groups; a rhythm, line, or verse.
  • n. In music: One of the groups of tones or of accents included between any two primary or heavy accents or beats. Same as tempo.
  • n. Any regulated or graceful motion; especially, motion adjusted to musical time.
  • n. A slow, stately dance or dance-movement.
  • n. 15. A determinate action or procedure, intended as means to an end; anything devised or done with a view to the accomplishment of a purpose; specifically, in later use, any course of action proposed or adopted by a government, or a bill introduced into a legislature: as. measures (that is, a bill or bills) for the relief of the poor; a wise measure; rash measures.
  • n. plural In geology, a set or series of beds, as in coal-measures, the assemblage of strata in which the coal of any particular region occurs.
  • n. In fencing, the distance of one fencer from another at which the one can just reach the other by lunging.
  • n. The capacity of the gallon is 231 cubic inches. The pint of the British Pharmacopœia (being the eighth part of the gallon of 277.274 cubic inches) is divided into 20 fluidounces, with the fluidrachm and minim constituting the same subdivisions of the fluidounce as in the above table. The cubic capacity of the gallon can, however, be stated only approximately. The standards are made to contain a certain weight of water at a certain temperature. See gallon.
  • n. The English ell is 5 quarters, and the Flemish ell about 3 quarters. See ell.
  • n. A pottle is 2 quarts; a load of grain is 5 quarters, and a last 10 quarters. The approximate capacity of the imperial (British legal) bushel is 2,218.192 cubic inches; of the Winchester (United States legal) bushel, 2,150.42 cubic inches. (See apothecaries' measure.) The United States bushel is thus equivalent to .96046 British bushel.
  • n. For the capacity of the gallon, see apothecaries' measure.
  • n. Other units considered as belonging to long measure are the pace, 5 feet; the fathom, 6 feet; the span, 9 inches; the hand (used in measuring the height of horses), 4 inches; the surveyors' chain or Gunter's chain, of 100 links. 66 feet; the engineers' chain, of 100 links (United States), 100 feet (see link). See also cloth-measure, above.
  • n. Specifically, in organ-building, the proportion of the diameter of fluepipes, or of a stop of such pipes, to their length: as, a diapason pipe is made on a wider or larger measure than a gamba pipe.

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

  • n. (prosody) the accent in a metrical foot of verse
  • n. the act or process of assigning numbers to phenomena according to a rule
  • n. how much there is or how many there are of something that you can quantify
  • n. measuring instrument having a sequence of marks at regular intervals; used as a reference in making measurements
  • n. a statute in draft before it becomes law
  • n. any maneuver made as part of progress toward a goal
  • v. evaluate or estimate the nature, quality, ability, extent, or significance of
  • n. a container of some standard capacity that is used to obtain fixed amounts of a substance
  • v. have certain dimensions
  • n. musical notation for a repeating pattern of musical beats
  • n. a basis for comparison; a reference point against which other things can be evaluated
  • v. express as a number or measure or quantity
  • v. determine the measurements of something or somebody, take measurements of

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French mesure, from Latin mēnsūra, from mēnsus, past participle of mētīrī, to measure.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English mesure, from French mesure, from Latin mēnsūra ("a measuring, rule, something to measure by"), from mēnsus, past participle of mētīrī ("to measure, mete"). Displaced native Middle English mǣte, mete ("measure") (n.) (from Old English met ("measure"), compare Old English mitta ("a measure")), Middle English ameten, imeten ("to measure") (from Old English āmetan, ġemetan "to mete, measure), Middle English hof, hoof ("measure, reason") (from Old Norse hōf ("measure, reason")), Old English mǣþ ("measure, degree"). (Wiktionary)

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