noun \ˈgāj\

: an instrument that is used for measuring something

: something that can be used to measure or judge something else

: the distance between the rails of a railroad

Full Definition of GAUGE

a :  a measurement (as of linear dimension) according to some standard or system: as (1) :  the distance between the rails of a railroad (2) :  the size of a shotgun barrel's inner diameter nominally expressed as the number of lead balls each just fitting that diameter required to make a pound <a 12-gauge shotgun> (3) :  the thickness of a thin material (as sheet metal or plastic film) (4) :  the diameter of a slender object (as wire or a hypodermic needle) (5) :  the fineness of a knitted fabric expressed by the number of loops per unit width
b :  dimensions, size
c :  measure 1 <surveys are a gauge of public sentiment>
:  an instrument for or a means of measuring or testing: as
a :  an instrument for measuring a dimension or for testing mechanical accuracy
b :  an instrument with a graduated scale or dial for measuring or indicating quantity
:  relative position of a ship with reference to another ship and the wind
:  a function introduced into a field equation to produce a convenient form of the equation but having no observable physical consequences

Variants of GAUGE

gauge also gage \ˈgāj\

Examples of GAUGE

  1. The broadest gauge of the economy—the gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation—has risen little more than 4% since the recovery began. —Alfred L. Malabre, Jr., Wall Street Journal, 26 July 1993

Origin of GAUGE

Middle English gauge, from Anglo-French
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Railroad Terms

cowcatcher, cupola, vestibule, yard

Rhymes with GAUGE


verb \ˈgāj\

: to make a judgment about (something)

: to measure (something) exactly

gauged also gagedgaug·ing also gag·ing

Full Definition of GAUGE

transitive verb
a :  to measure precisely the size, dimensions, or other measurable quantity of
b :  to determine the capacity or contents of
c :  estimate, judge <hard to gauge his moods>
a :  to check for conformity to specifications or limits
b :  to measure off or set out

Variants of GAUGE

gauge also gage \ˈgāj\

Examples of GAUGE

  1. Home sales provide a useful way of gauging the overall state of the economy.
  2. He accurately gauged the mood of the voters.
  3. I was gauging her reaction to the news.
  4. instruments for gauging temperature and humidity
  5. Through history, the powers of single black men flash here and there like falling stars, and die sometimes before the world has rightly gauged their brightness. —W. E. B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk, 1903

Origin of GAUGE

(see 1gauge)
First Known Use: 15th century


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March 05, 2015
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