Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

length

play
noun \ˈleŋ(k)th, ˈlen(t)th\

Simple Definition of length

  • : the distance from one end of something to the other end : a measurement of how long something is

  • : the size or extent of a piece of writing

  • : the quality or state of being long

Full Definition of length

plural lengths play \ˈleŋ(k)ths, ˈlen(t)ths, ˈleŋ(k)s\

  1. 1 a :  the longer or longest dimension of an object b :  a measured distance or dimension <10 feet in length> — see metric system table, weight table c :  the quality or state of being long

  2. 2 a :  duration or extent in time b :  relative duration or stress of a sound

  3. 3 a :  distance or extent in space b :  the length of something taken as a unit of measure <his horse led by a length>

  4. 4 :  the degree to which something (as a course of action or a line of thought) is carried —often used in plural <went to great lengths to learn the truth>

  5. 5 a :  a long expanse or stretch b :  a piece constituting or usable as part of a whole or of a connected series :  section <a length of pipe>

  6. 6 :  the longer or vertical dimension of a piece of clothing —often used in combination <elbow-length sleeves>

at length
  1. 1 :  fully, comprehensively

  2. 2 :  at last :  finally

Examples of length

  1. The length of the table is six feet, and its width is three feet.

  2. These pins are available in one- and two-inch lengths.

  3. The adult animals reach a maximum length of two meters.

  4. Your essay should be no more than 250 words in length.

  5. the length of a movie

  6. They were two car lengths behind us.



Origin of length

Middle English lengthe, from Old English lengthu, from lang long


First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Weights and Measures Terms



LENGTH Defined for Kids

length

play
noun \ˈleŋth\

Definition of length

  1. 1 :  the measured distance from one end to the other of the longer or longest side of an object

  2. 2 :  a measured distance <The road is three miles in length.>

  3. 3 :  the amount of time something takes <The movie is two hours in length.>

  4. 4 :  a piece of something that is long <She bought a length of pipe.>

  5. 5 :  the distance from top to bottom of an article of clothing <knee-length pants>

  6. 6 :  the sound of a vowel or syllable as it is affected by the time needed to pronounce it

at length
  1. 1 :  very fully <We discussed the problem at length.>

  2. 2 :  at the end :  finally <They decided at length to order pizza.>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up length? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 14, 2016

to hug and kiss another person

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

196.5 pounds 2.2 pounds 100 pounds 16.96 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ