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: 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
Home sales provide a useful way of gauging the overall state of the economy.
He accurately gauged the mood of the voters.
I was gauging her reaction to the news.
instruments for gauging temperature and humidity
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
On the other hand, no one supposes that the intellect of any two animals or of any two men can be accurately gauged by the cubic contents of their skulls. —Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 1871
Incommunicative as he was, some time elapsed before I had an opportunity of gauging his mind. I first got an idea of its calibre when I heard him preach in his own church at Morton. —Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, 1847
In manufacturing and engineering, a device used to determine whether a dimension is larger or smaller than a reference standard. A snap gauge, for example, is formed like the letter C, with outer go and inner not go jaws, and is used to check diameters, lengths, and thicknesses. Screw-thread pitch gauges have triangular serrations spaced to correspond with various pitches, or numbers of threads per inch or per centimeter. Deviation-type or dial gauges indicate the amount by which an object deviates from the standard.