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 Experts say the Pacific Northwest isn't prepared for heat of this caliber. Aj Willingham, CNN, 29 June 2021 What is the firm’s process in working with clients of this caliber? Rebecca Baldridge, Robb Report, 19 June 2021 Ohio State plans to put two All-American-caliber receivers on the field in every game this season. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 1 July 2021 Trump said Presutti was shot with a .45 caliber Kimber gun owned by a police officer in a different Alabama county. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 1 July 2021 The caliber El Primero 3600 is the most recent evolution of the famous movement. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 30 June 2021 Meanwhile, Snyder believed, frankly, that those players weren’t frequently NBA-rotation caliber, and playing them significant minutes would hamper his chances at winning. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 28 June 2021 Dark Pictures and Orian Williams optioned the memoir for a rock star-caliber movie based on the life of the former frontman, who died in 2015. Etan Vlessing, Billboard, 28 June 2021 Belt, however, is a Gold-Glove caliber first baseman, so his value on defense will be hard to match. Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle, 25 June 2021

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

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The first known use of caliber was in 1588

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Dictionary Entries Near caliber



caliber compass

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Statistics for caliber

Last Updated

18 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Caliber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for caliber



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

More from Merriam-Webster on caliber

Nglish: Translation of caliber for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of caliber for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about caliber


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