avoirdupois

noun
av·oir·du·pois | \ˌa-vər-də-ˈpȯiz, ˈa-vər-də-ˌ\

Definition of avoirdupois 

(Entry 1 of 2)

2 : weight, heaviness especially : personal weight

avoirdupois

adjective

Definition of avoirdupois (Entry 2 of 2)

: expressed in avoirdupois weight one ounce avoirdupois

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Synonyms for avoirdupois

Synonyms: Noun

heaviness, heft, weight

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Did You Know?

Noun

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."

Examples of avoirdupois in a Sentence

Noun

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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

McCormick was a member of the Jolly Fat Men’s Club, a fraternal group that celebrated avoirdupois. John Kelly, Washington Post, "An old metal token puts Answer Man on the trail of a D.C. saloon tycoon," 23 Sep. 2017

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

First Known Use of avoirdupois

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1619, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for avoirdupois

Noun

Middle English avoir de pois goods sold by weight, from Anglo-French, literally, goods of weight

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The first known use of avoirdupois was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for avoirdupois

avoirdupois

adjective
av·oir·du·pois | \ˌav-ərd-ə-ˈpȯiz, -ˈpwä \

Medical Definition of avoirdupois 

: expressed in avoirdupois weight avoirdupois units 5 ounces avoirdupois 2 avoirdupois ounces

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