\ ˈleŋ(k)th How to pronounce length (audio) , ˈlen(t)th How to pronounce length (audio) \
plural lengths\ ˈleŋ(k)ths How to pronounce length (audio) , ˈlen(t)ths , ˈleŋ(k)s \

Definition of length

1a : the longer or longest dimension of an object
b : a measured distance or dimension 10 feet in length — see Metric System Table, Weights and Measures Table
c : the quality or state of being long the length of the journey
2a : duration or extent in time
b : relative duration or stress of a sound (such as a vowel or syllable in prose or a note in music)
3a : distance or extent in space a street with its length of colonial houses
b : the length of something taken as a unit of measure his horse led by a length
4 : the degree to which something (such as a course of action or a line of thought) is carried often used in plural went to great lengths to learn the truth
5a : a long expanse or stretch her lengths of lustrous hair
b : a piece constituting or usable as part of a whole or of a connected series : section a length of pipe
6 : the longer or vertical dimension of a piece of clothing often used in combination elbow-length sleeves
at length
1 : fully, comprehensively The issue was debated at length.
2 : at last : finally We at length reached the top of the mountain.

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of length in a Sentence

The length of the table is six feet, and its width is three feet. These pins are available in one- and two-inch lengths. The adult animals reach a maximum length of two meters. Your essay should be no more than 250 words in length. the length of a movie They were two car lengths behind us.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The sections were cut into billets, bat-length oblongs of wood that could be shaped by lathe, sander, and polish. BostonGlobe.com, "Baseball bats passed down through generations in Vermont, from a stockbroker who wanted to spread joy," 3 Apr. 2021 Ultimately, there’s just something about casually wearing a floor-length silk gown, with a matching sheer cover-up draped in feathers as your nighttime attire that just takes the cake. Jamila Stewart, Essence, "14 Iconic Black Fashion Moments Through Film," 1 Apr. 2021 In the past, she's rocked bright blue tips, waist-length waves and straight purple locks. Samantha Olson, Seventeen, "Kylie Jenner Rocks Short New Bob in Instagram Stories," 31 Mar. 2021 There's something more epic and heightened about a feature-length film. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Eric Andre Talks Epic 'Bad Trip' Movie, Chilling With Borat and Tasing Rappers," 30 Mar. 2021 Midi and maxi-length dresses are practically ubiquitous, and there are more than enough silhouettes, color palettes, and fabrics available to suit every preference. Grace Stearns, Vogue, "No Frills: The Best Dresses for Non-Dress People," 30 Mar. 2021 Allover lace lends a dressier vibe to this tea-length dress, available in sizes 7 to 14. Lauren Caruso, CNN Underscored, "20 Easter dresses you’ll want to wear all spring long," 29 Mar. 2021 If big flavor is your top priority, aim for a bottle with a large or full-length infuser. Sian Babish, chicagotribune.com, "The best infusion water bottle," 29 Mar. 2021 Richer Poorer’s ankle-length dress has a relaxed fit, a high neckline and dropped armhole. Zoe Malin, NBC News, "New and Notable: Face masks, speakers, dog toys and more," 29 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'length.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of length

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for length

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about length

Time Traveler for length

Time Traveler

The first known use of length was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for length

Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Length.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/length. Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for length



English Language Learners 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


\ ˈleŋth How to pronounce length (audio) \

Kids Definition of length

1 : the measured distance from one end to the other of the longer or longest side of an object
2 : a measured distance The road is three miles in length.
3 : the amount of time something takes The movie is two hours in length.
4 : a piece of something that is long She bought a length of pipe.
5 : the distance from top to bottom of an article of clothing knee-length pants
6 : the sound of a vowel or syllable as it is affected by the time needed to pronounce it
at length
1 : very fully We discussed the problem at length.
2 : at the end : finally They decided at length to order pizza.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on length

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


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!