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 Chinese tycoon’s pounce on luxury Manhattan real estate offers a new dimension on his global ambitions in the months leading to his disappearance. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "A Top Chinese Oilman Vanishes, and a Manhattan Buying Binge Ends," 25 Oct. 2018 The Internet age, however, has added a new dimension of dissent. Rick Noack, Washington Post, "Iranian women are posting videos of themselves dancing in support of arrested Instagram star," 9 July 2018 To be caught stealing has taken on a whole new dimension at Dunkin’ Donuts Park. Neil Vigdor, courant.com, "Two Arrested In Dunkin' Donuts Park Burglary, Yard Goats' Memorabilia Recovered," 7 July 2018 While Wenger's free flowing football wasn't incompatible with Wilshere, Sarri's famed vertical passing structure could add a new dimension to his game. SI.com, "Why Chelsea Should Take a Punt on Super Jack Wilshere and Make Him the Golden Boy He Deserves to Be," 22 June 2018 Or entering The Twiglight Zone, opening a door with the key of imagination to a new dimension of sound and sight, shadow and substance? Kat Bein, Billboard, "G Jones Is 'Understanding The Possibility' of Bass Like None Other: Exclusive," 14 June 2018 Evening meals aren’t exactly a new dimension for the Asian Art Museum, whose cafe, up until two months ago, was more a side benefit than a draw in itself. Jonathan Kauffman, San Francisco Chronicle, "Asian Art Museum takes a risk with young star chef’s destination cafe," 6 June 2018 The game takes on a whole new dimension, as participants not only tackle traditional challenges but also try to sneak a deviant move by fellow players without apprehension. Josh Linkner, Detroit Free Press, "New Monopoly game created for cheaters, questionable behavior," 25 May 2018 The new dimensions will be 333 feet down the left field line (honoring former coach Jim Brock, No. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "Spencer Torkelson needs two homers in final weekend to tie ASU home run record," 23 May 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

7 Dec 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).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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