caliber

noun

cal·​i·​ber ˈka-lə-bər How to pronounce caliber (audio)
 British also  kə-ˈlē-
variants or calibre
1
a
: degree of mental capacity or moral quality
teachers of high caliber
b
: degree of excellence or importance
the caliber of instruction
2
a
: the diameter of a bullet or other projectile
b
: the diameter of a bore of a gun usually expressed in hundredths or thousandths of an inch and typically written as a decimal fraction
.32 caliber
3
: the diameter of a round or cylindrical body
especially : the internal diameter of a hollow cylinder

Examples of caliber in a Sentence

I was impressed by the high caliber of the team's work. musicians of the highest caliber perform at that concert hall
Recent Examples on the Web Turcios was inside, along with a .22 caliber handgun, police said. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, 10 Feb. 2024 His face marked by the scars where two 30 caliber carbine slugs blasted half of his face away, former McNairy County Sheriff Buford Pusser points to a section along a lonely blacktop road where he and his wife Pauline were ambushed in 1967. CBS News, 9 Feb. 2024 The poachers did most of their damage at night—and shot most of the deer with .22 caliber bullets typically used for small game hunting. Sage Marshall, Field & Stream, 7 Feb. 2024 But even with Henry, how would a coach who often prefers to pass the ball possibly split carries among three starting caliber backs (Henry, Mostert, Achane)? Barry Jackson, Miami Herald, 7 Feb. 2024 Thankfully, the wedding industry has made some concerted efforts to create solutions that can reduce your event’s carbon footprint while also maintaining the caliber of your event. Shelby Wax, Vogue, 7 Feb. 2024 At a time of shrinking outlets for arts journalism and rising doubt on the value and viability of reviews, the best case that can be made is by writing of this caliber. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 31 Jan. 2024 Pro-level users might know exactly what each mode is useful for already, but aside from the lack of explanations, the Wacom menu experience still does not befit a device of this caliber and price range. PCMAG, 26 Jan. 2024 Thanks to sapphire crystals on both sides, the architecture of this in-house caliber is on full display. Cait Bazemore, Robb Report, 31 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'caliber.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from Middle French calibre "internal diameter of a cylindrical object, displacement of a gun," borrowed (by uncertain mediation) from Arabic qālab, qālib "mold for casting metal, shoemaker's last," borrowed from Greek kalapod-, kalápous, kalópous "shoemaker's last," from kâla (plural) "wood, timber" (of uncertain origin) + -a- (perhaps after tetrápous "four-footed") or -o- -o- + poús "foot" — more at foot entry 1

First Known Use

1588, in the meaning defined at sense 2b

Time Traveler
The first known use of caliber was in 1588

Dictionary Entries Near caliber

Cite this Entry

“Caliber.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/caliber. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

caliber

noun
cal·​i·​ber
variants or calibre
1
: degree of excellence or importance
2
: the diameter of a missile (as a bullet)
3
: the inside diameter of a gun barrel

Medical Definition

caliber

noun
cal·​i·​ber
variants or chiefly British calibre
ˈkal-ə-bər, British also kə-ˈlē-
: the diameter of a round or cylindrical body
especially : the internal diameter of a hollow cylinder

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