di·men·sion | \də-ˈmen(t)-shən also dī- \

Definition of dimension 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a mathematics

(1) : measure in one direction the dimensions of the room specifically : one of three coordinates (see coordinate entry 3 sense 1a) determining a position in space or four coordinates determining a position in space and time

(2) : one of a group of properties whose number is necessary and sufficient to determine uniquely each element of a system of usually mathematical entities (such as an aggregate of points in real or abstract space) the surface of a sphere has two dimensions also : a parameter (see parameter sense 1) or coordinate variable assigned to such a property the three dimensions of momentum

(3) : the number of elements in a basis (see basis sense 5) of a vector space

b : the quality of spatial extension : magnitude, size … the town's modest dimensions and leisurely ways …— Jane Shellhase

c : a lifelike or realistic quality uses eccentric dialogue to add dimension to her characters

d : the range over which or the degree to which something extends : scope usually used in plural the vast dimensions of the disaster

e : one of the elements or factors making up a complete personality or entity : aspect the social and political dimensions of the problem

2 obsolete : bodily form or proportions … my dimensions are as well compact, my mind as generous, and my shape as true …— Shakespeare

3 mathematics : any of the fundamental units (as of mass, length, or time) on which a derived unit is based also : the power of such a unit

4 : wood or stone cut to pieces of specified size

5 : a level of existence or consciousness … a secular as well as spiritual dimension— Catherine Bates


dimensioned; dimensioning\-ˈmen(t)-shə-niŋ \

Definition of dimension (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to form to the required dimensions (see dimension entry 1 sense 1a(1)) a table dimensioned to fit the space

2 : to indicate the dimensions of (as on a drawing) dimensioning the plans

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Other Words from dimension


dimensional \-ˈmench-nəl, -ˈmen(t)-shə-nᵊl \ adjective
dimensionality \-ˌmen(t)-shə-ˈna-lə-tē \ noun
dimensionally \-ˈmench-nə-lē, -ˈmen(t)-shə-nᵊl-ē \ adverb
dimensionless \-ˈmen(t)-shən-ləs \ adjective

Examples of dimension in a Sentence


She carefully measured each dimension of the room. The social dimensions of the problem must also be taken into account.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The company and several airlines declined to provide full dimensions. Mary Schlangenstein, latimes.com, "Airline bathrooms are getting smaller — you’re not imagining it," 10 July 2018 Some include dimensions for the room, the under-the-bed space and the best size carpet for the space. Lisa A. Flam, Fox News, "Preparing your teen for college dorm life? Don't over-pack," 10 July 2018 And each show is infused with a radiant empathy for its beleaguered heroine that approaches religious dimensions. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Women Set London’s Stages Ablaze," 9 July 2018 The pieces — all of which will be on sale for less than $500 — are small (no larger than 14 inches in any dimension) works, vary in media, and include silver point, pencil and charcoal drawings, oil paintings, sculptures, and collages. Aubri Juhasz, The Cut, "This Art Show Explores Motherhood, Supports Immigrant Families," 6 July 2018 What to bring: Sunscreen, water, signs or banners with dimensions not exceeding 18-by-18 inches. Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle, "Oakland prepares for Warriors’ parade that’s expected to draw 1 million fans," 11 June 2018 The public anti-war movement and response thereto began to develop violent dimensions. Arthur I. Cyr, Lake County News-Sun, "Cyr: The essence of Memorial Day," 1 June 2018 The larger, older dimensions are still visible as provisional cross-hatches on the map, extending out into what is now Basin Street. Andrew Boyd, NOLA.com, "St. Louis Cemetery No. 1: Is Marie Laveau where they say she is?," 22 May 2018 Adding such a dimension is not the kind of thing that lies on the normal early career improvement curve. David Murphy, Philly.com, "Sixers might look the same, but potential for improvement is huge | David Murphy," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Aaron Judge, New York Yankees: Another huge man with huge power playing in the same Little League-dimensioned ballpark as Stanton. Ted Berg, For The Win, "Poll: Which MLB slugger is most likely to challenge Barry Bonds' home-run record in 2018?," 23 Feb. 2018 Each barn is covered top to bottom in oversized shingles dimensioned to make the volume look smaller. Joseph Giovannini, ELLE Decor, "HOUSE TOUR: Contemporary Decor Blends With Farmhouse Tradition Inside A Hamptons Barn," 2 July 2015

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1754, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dimension


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin dimension-, dimensio, from dimetiri to measure out, from dis- + metiri to measure — more at measure


see dimension entry 1

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Statistics for dimension

Last Updated

28 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dimension

The first known use of dimension was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for dimension



English Language Learners Definition of dimension

: the length, width, height, or depth of something : a measurement in one direction (such as the distance from the ceiling to the floor in a room)

: the amount or number of things that something affects or influences

: a part of something


di·men·sion | \də-ˈmen-shən \

Kids Definition of dimension

: the length, width, or height of something


di·men·sion | \də-ˈmen-chən also dī-\

Medical Definition of dimension 

: measure in one direction specifically : one of three or four coordinates determining a position in space or space and time

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Comments on dimension

What made you want to look up dimension? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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