length

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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Today in sunny Manhattan, Jennifer Lawrence stepped out with sunny blonde lengths and a West Coast glow in tow. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Jennifer Lawrence Steals a Page From Meghan Markle’s Spring Beauty Playbook," 19 Apr. 2019 Khaliha Hawkins, producer This mascara provided the length and definition that my lashes need to frame my eyes. Glamour, "5 Women Try Kat Von D’s New Vegan Mascara," 19 Apr. 2019 The festival, known for edgy documentaries and independent narrative films from a diverse range of voices, will highlight 174 feature-length and short movies culled from more than 9,000 submissions. ... Ellen Gamerman, WSJ, "Five Movies Bound to Make Noise at the Tribeca Film Festival," 17 Apr. 2019 More often than not, the singer has always worn her hair (and extensions) to super-long lengths as part of her signature look, but this week 26-year-old Lovato became the latest in a long line of celebs to jump ship to the shorter side. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Demi Lovato Cut Her Hair Off For Spring and it's Perfect Short Bob Inspiration," 12 Apr. 2019 The various forms of emergency contraception can work for different lengths of time in this window to prevent unintended pregnancy. Natasha Lavender, SELF, "7 Myths About Emergency Contraception You Should Stop Believing," 8 Apr. 2019 Both hemispheres share the sun’s rays equally at the equinox, and night and day are roughly the same length. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, "What Exactly Is the Spring Equinox?," 19 Mar. 2019 In one way, though, Louie has been extremely lucky: For his entire life, his mother has gone to extraordinary lengths to try to cure him. Shelley Levitt, Woman's Day, "These 4 Inspirational Women Went to Great Lengths for Their Kids," 4 Dec. 2018 It’s to create machines that know—computers that use machine learning to instantly distinguish between hundreds of species, count and measure the length of each fish and record where... Chris Kornelis, WSJ, "How Many Fish Are There in the Sea? AI Can Find the Answer," 1 Apr. 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for length

Last Updated

22 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for length

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

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More Definitions for length

length

noun

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

length

noun
\ 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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on length

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for length

Spanish Central: Translation of length

Nglish: Translation of length for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of length for Arabic Speakers

Comments on length

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