measure
Pronunciation
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈmɛʒə/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈmɛʒɚ/
  • (regional US) IPA: /ˈmeɪʒɚ/

Noun

measure (plural measures)

  1. A prescribed quantity or extent.
    1. (obsolete) Moderation, temperance. [13th-19th c.]
      • c. 1390, William Langland, Piers Plowman, I:
        Mesure is medcynee · þouȝ þow moche ȝerne.
      • 1611, Bible, Authorized Version, Jer. XXX:
        I will correct thee in measure, and will not leaue thee altogether vnpunished.
    2. A limit that cannot be exceeded; a bound. (Now chiefly in set phrases.) [from 14th c.]
      • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, V:
        Full to the utmost measure of what bliss Human desires can seek or apprehend.
      • 2009, Mike Selvey, The Guardian, 25 Aug 2009:
        They have gloried to this day, the tedious interminable big-screen replays of that golden summer irritating beyond measure.
    3. An (unspecified) portion or quantity. [from 16th c.]
      • 2013, Daniel Taylor, Danny Welbeck leads England's rout of Moldova but hit by Ukraine ban (in The Guardian, 6 September 2013):
        It ended up being a bittersweet night for England, full of goals to send the crowd home happy, buoyed by the news that Montenegro and Poland had drawn elsewhere in Group H but also with a measure of regret about what happened to Danny Welbeck and what it means for Roy Hodgson's team going into a much more difficult assignment against Ukraine.
  2. The act or result of measuring.
    1. (now, chiefly, cooking) A receptacle or vessel of a standard size, capacity etc. as used to deal out specific quantities of some substance. [from 14th c.]
      a measure of salt
    2. A standard against which something can be judged; a criterion. [from 14th c.]
      Honesty is the true measure of a man.
    3. Any of various standard units of capacity. [from 14th c.]
      The villagers paid a tithe of a thousand measures of corn.
    4. A unit of measurement. [from 14th c.]
      • 1993, Scientific American February 33.3:
        The fragments shrank by increments of about three kilodaltons (a measure of molecular weight).
    5. The size of someone or something, as ascertained by measuring. (Now chiefly in make to measure.) [from 14th c.]
      • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Job 11:9 ↗:
        The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.
    6. (now, rare) The act or process of measuring. [from 14th c.]
    7. A ruler, measuring stick, or graduated tape used to take measurements. [from 16th c.]
    8. (mathematics, now, rare) A number which is contained in a given number a number of times without a remainder; a divisor or factor. [from 16th c.]
      the greatest common measure of two or more numbers
    9. (geology) A bed or stratum. [from 17th c.]
      coal measures; lead measures
    10. (mathematics) 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. [from 20th c.]
  3. Metrical rhythm.
    1. (now, archaic) A melody. [from 14th c.]
    2. (now, archaic) A dance. [from 15th c.]
      • 1808 February 21, Walter Scott, “Canto Fifth. The Court.”, in Marmion; a Tale of Flodden Field, Edinburgh: Printed by J[ames] Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Company, […]; London: William Miller, and John Murray, OCLC 270129616 ↗, stanza XII (Lochinvar. Lady Heron’s Song.), page 259 ↗:
        He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar,— / "Now tread we a measure!" said young Lochinvar.
    3. (poetry) The manner of ordering and combining the quantities, or long and short syllables; meter; rhythm; hence, a metrical foot. [from 15th c.]
      a poem in iambic measure
    4. (music) 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; a bar. [from 17th c.]
  4. A course of action.
    1. (in plural) Actions designed to achieve some purpose; plans. [from 17th c.]
    2. A piece of legislation. [from 18th c.]
Synonyms
  • (musical designation) bar
  • (unit of measurement) metric
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • German: Maß
  • Italian: misura, funzione di misura
  • Portuguese: medida
  • Russian: ме́ра
Translations Translations
Verb

measure (measures, present participle measuring; past and past participle measured)

  1. To ascertain the quantity of a unit of material via calculated comparison with respect to a standard.
    We measured the temperature with a thermometer.   You should measure the angle with a spirit level.
  2. To be of (a certain size), to have (a certain measurement)
    The window measured two square feet.
  3. To estimate the unit size of something.
    I measure that at 10 centimetres.
  4. To judge, value, or appraise.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book VII”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      Great are thy works, Jehovah, infinite / Thy power! what thought can measure thee?
  5. To obtain or set apart; to mark in even increments.
  6. (rare) To traverse, cross, pass along; to travel over.
    • c. 1590–1591, William Shakespeare, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene vii]:
      A true devoted pilgrim is not weary / To measure kingdoms with his feeble steps.
    • 1859, Ferna Vale, Natalie; or, A Gem Among the Sea-Weeds
      "And for a very sensible reason; there never was but one like her; or, that is, I have always thought so until to-day," replied the tar, glancing toward Natalie; "for my old eyes have seen pretty much everything they have got in this little world. Ha! I should like to see the inch of land or water that my foot hasn't measured."
  7. To adjust by a rule or standard.
    • To secure a contented spirit, measure your desires by your fortunes, not your fortunes by your desires.
  8. To allot or distribute by measure; to set off or apart by measure; often with out or off.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Matthew 7:2 ↗:
      With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
    • That portion of eternity which is called time, measured out by the sun.
Translations Translations Translations


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