cal·​i·​ber | \ ˈka-lə-bər How to pronounce caliber (audio) , British also kə-ˈlē- \
variants: or calibre

Definition of caliber

1a : degree of mental capacity or moral quality teachers of high caliber
b : degree of excellence or importance the caliber of instruction
2a : 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

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Synonyms for caliber


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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 Get to the good stuff: Which celebs are on the show? Brad will be joined by several fellow performers of his caliber. Megan Stein, Country Living, "The Property Brothers Will Star on an HGTV Show With Brad Pitt and We're Losing It," 10 Mar. 2020 He was held below 50 yards receiving in seven games this past season, a high number for a player of his caliber. David Moore, Dallas News, "Cowboys position preview: Future of Dallas’ WR group will be decided in free agency and the draft," 25 Feb. 2020 There’s a progression period for a young player of his caliber. Julian Mcwilliams,, "Mistakes help Jeter Downs boost his learning curve," 23 Feb. 2020 Thoughtful, precise, and filled with foreboding, Blood on Her Name is a pulp-noir thriller of the highest caliber. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to watch in theaters and on Netflix this weekend," 28 Feb. 2020 In December, Imperato designed and donated 126 special edition .22 caliber rifles bearing personalized insignias specific to the youths. Matt Williams, Dallas News, "Guns for Great Causes program has raised over $3 million for charity," 22 Feb. 2020 No presidential campaign is spared its awkward moments: overlong hugs from supporters, groaners about the Iowa weather, white lies about the caliber of the local cuisine. Matt Flegenheimer, New York Times, "‘You Can’t Fake Those Kind of Skills’: Pete Buttigieg’s Charisma Test," 1 Feb. 2020 Soulard said squirrels can be hunted with small rifles such as a 22 caliber rifle, a pellet rifle or a small shotgun. Meredith Spelbring, Detroit Free Press, "Squirrel hunting in Michigan exists: Here's what you need to know," 24 Jan. 2020 The wolf was shot once with a .22 caliber center-fire rifle along County Road 91 near the small communities of Lookout and Bieber, the wildlife agency said. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, "Reward offered in case of endangered wolf that left Oregon, was killed by poacher in California," 10 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caliber.' 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 caliber

1588, in the meaning defined at sense 2b

History and Etymology for caliber

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

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Time Traveler for caliber

Time Traveler

The first known use of caliber was in 1588

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Statistics for caliber

Last Updated

23 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Caliber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for caliber


How to pronounce caliber (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of caliber

: level of excellence, skill, etc.
: a measurement of the width of a bullet or a gun barrel


variants: or calibre \ ˈka-​lə-​bər \

Kids Definition of caliber

1 : level of excellence, skill, or importance She is a writer of the highest caliber.
2 : the diameter of a bullet or of the hole in the barrel of a gun


variants: or chiefly British calibre \ ˈkal-​ə-​bər, British also kə-​ˈlē-​ \

Medical Definition of caliber

: the diameter of a round or cylindrical body especially : the internal diameter of a hollow cylinder

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