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

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Example Sentences

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 Thornton, who went into the weekend without a contract for the first time since September 1997, ultimately shaped himself into a Hall of Fame-caliber producer. Kevin Paul Dupont, BostonGlobe.com, 17 Sep. 2022 Verlander, of course, pitched 13 years for the Tigers, from 2005-2017, as part of his Hall of Fame-caliber career. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 12 Sep. 2022 Moreover, the academic caliber of the incoming students has increased dramatically with test scores up from the 54th to the 71st percentile in terms of national averages. Marybeth Gasman, Forbes, 26 Aug. 2022 And those vert tricks are not of the highest caliber. Julie Jag, The Salt Lake Tribune, 23 Aug. 2022 This is even amazing, the people, the caliber of people. Scientific American Custom Media, Scientific American, 19 Aug. 2022 But when first pitch finally arrived, all eyes returned to Kershaw, who had never started an All-Star Game in his Hall of Fame-caliber career. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 19 July 2022 The player whose Hall of Fame-caliber career has been defined by his ability to extend plays out of a mix of strength and sheer will plans to go down fighting. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 3 Jan. 2022 That line-of-scrimmage mastery Panthers coach Matt Rhule had compared to the likes of Hall of Fame-caliber players Drew Brees and Peyton Manning? Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, 3 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

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 5 Oct. 2022.

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Kids Definition

caliber

noun

cal·​i·​ber
variants or calibre
ˈka-lə-bər
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

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

More from Merriam-Webster on caliber

Last Updated: 28 Sep 2022

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