1

dimension

noun di·men·sion \ də-ˈmen(t)-shən also dī- \
Updated on: 20 Nov 2017

Definition of dimension

1 a mathematics
(1) :measure in one direction
  • the dimensions of the room
; specifically :one of three coordinates (see 3coordinate 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 1) or coordinate variable assigned to such a property
  • the three dimensions of momentum
(3) :the number of elements in a basis (see basis 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

dimensional

play \-ˈmench-nəl, -ˈmen(t)-shə-nᵊl\ adjective

dimensionality

play \-ˌmen(t)-shə-ˈna-lə-tē\ noun

dimensionally

play \-ˈmench-nə-lē, -ˈmen(t)-shə-nᵊl-ē\ adverb

dimensionless

play \-ˈmen(t)-shən-ləs\ adjective

Examples of dimension in a Sentence

  1. She carefully measured each dimension of the room.

  2. The social dimensions of the problem must also be taken into account.

Recent Examples of dimension from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of dimension

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

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms


2

dimension

verb

Definition of dimension

dimensioned; dimensioning play \-ˈmen(t)-shə-niŋ\
transitive verb
1 :to form to the required dimensions (see 1dimension 1a(1))
  • a table dimensioned to fit the space
2 :to indicate the dimensions of (as on a drawing)
  • dimensioning the plans

Recent Examples of dimension from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of dimension


DIMENSION Defined for English Language Learners

dimension

noun

Definition of dimension for English Language Learners

  • : 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


DIMENSION Defined for Kids

dimension

noun di·men·sion \ də-ˈmen-shən \

Definition of dimension for Students

:the length, width, or height of something

Medical Dictionary

dimension

noun 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


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to buzz or drone

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!