avoirdupois was our Word of the Day on 02/07/2007. Hear the podcast!
Examples of avoirdupois in a sentence
the coach limited his recruiting to linebackers of a certain avoirdupois
told his patient that he had to do something about his unhealthy avoirdupois and that exercising would be a good start
Did You Know?
When "avoirdupois" first appeared in English in the 15th century, it carried a meaning of "goods sold by weight," which is also the meaning of its Middle English predecessor, "avoir de pois." That term derives from an Anglo-French phrase meaning "goods of weight." Today, "avoirdupois" most commonly refers to the system of weight measurement used for general merchandise, in which the pound is equal to 16 ounces, the ounce 16 drams, and the dram 27.344 grains. (Some other weight systems are apothecaries' weight, used to measure pharmaceutical items, and troy weight, used for precious metals.) It was Shakespeare, in his play Henry IV (1597), who first used "avoirdupois" to mean "heaviness."
Origin and Etymology of avoirdupois
Middle English avoir de pois goods sold by weight, from Anglo-French, literally, goods of weight
First Known Use: 15th century
Definition of avoirdupois
: expressed in avoirdupois weight one ounce avoirdupois
First Known Use of avoirdupois
Medical Definition of avoirdupois
: expressed in avoirdupois weight avoirdupois units 5 ounces avoirdupois 2 avoirdupois ounces
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