1

measure

noun mea·sure \ ˈme-zhər , ˈmā- \
Updated on: 12 Nov 2017

Definition of measure

1 a (1) :an adequate or due portion
  • all too few of the British actresses … have received their measure of remembrance
  • Saturday Review
(2) :a moderate degree; also :moderation, temperance
(3) :a fixed or suitable limit :bounds
  • rich beyond measure
b :the dimensions, capacity, or amount of something ascertained by measuring
  • took his measure for a coat
c :an estimate of what is to be expected (as of a person or situation)
  • the measure of their tragedy is now beyond our imagination
  • —G. F. Kennan
d (1) :a measured quantity
(2) :amount, degree
  • giving children a greater measure of freedom
2 a :an instrument (such as a yardstick) or utensil (such as a graduated cup) for measuring
b (1) :a standard or unit of measurement — see Weights and Measures Table
(2) :a system of standard units of measure
  • metric measure
3 :the act or process of measuring
  • settled by a measure made by a surveyor
4 a (1) :melody, tune
(2) :dance; especially :a slow and stately dance
b :rhythmic structure or movement :cadence: such as
(1) :poetic rhythm measured by temporal (see 1temporal 3) quantity or accent; specifically :meter
(2) :musical time
c (1) :a grouping of a specified number of musical beats located between two consecutive vertical lines on a staff
(2) :a metrical unit :foot
5 :an exact divisor of a number
  • 6 being the greatest common measure of 42 and 12
6 :a basis or standard of comparison
  • wealth is not a measure of happiness
7 :a step planned or taken as a means to an end
  • took strong measures against the rebels
; specifically :a proposed legislative act
  • sponsored an anti-inflation measure in the senate
for good measure
:in addition to the minimum required :as an extra
  • added another illustration for good measure

Examples of measure in a Sentence

  1. She felt equal measures of hope and fear.

  2. Their actions were motivated in large measure by a desire for revenge.

  3. An occasion like this calls for some measure of decorum.

  4. The meter is a measure of length.

  5. The dictionary includes a table of weights and measures.

  6. The legislature has passed a measure aimed at protecting consumers.

  7. The governor has proposed a number of cost-cutting measures.

  8. They were forced to resort to desperate measures.

  9. We need to take measures to protect ourselves.

Recent Examples of measure from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'measure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of measure

Middle English mesure, from Anglo-French, from Latin mensura, from mensus, past participle of metiri to measure; akin to Old English mǣth measure, Greek metron

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms


2

measure

verb

Definition of measure

measured; measuring play \ˈme-zhə-riŋ, ˈmā-; ˈmezh-riŋ, ˈmāzh-\
transitive verb
1 a :to choose or control with cautious restraint :regulate
  • measure his acts
b :to regulate by a standard :govern
2 :to allot or apportion in measured amounts
  • measure out three cups
3 :to lay off by making measurements
4 :to ascertain the measurements of
5 :to estimate or appraise by a criterion
  • measures his skill against his rival
6 archaic :to travel over :traverse
7 :to serve as a means of measuring
  • a thermometer measures temperature
intransitive verb
1 :to take or make a measurement
2 :to have a specified measurement

measurability

play \ˌme-zhə-rə-ˈbi-lə-tē, ˌmā-; ˌmezh-rə-, ˌmāzh-\ noun

measurable

play \ˈme-zhə-rə-bəl, ˈmā-; ˈmezh-rə-, ˈmāzh-\ adjective

measurably

play \-blē\ adverb

measurer

play \-zhər-ər\ noun

Examples of measure in a Sentence

  1. using a ruler to measure a piece of paper

  2. an instrument for measuring air pressure

  3. mental abilities measured by IQ testing

  4. He's being measured for a new suit.

  5. His success cannot be measured solely on the basis of his popularity.

  6. The cloth measures 3 meters.

  7. The room measures 15 feet wide by 30 feet long.

Recent Examples of measure from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'measure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of measure



MEASURE Defined for English Language Learners

measure

noun

Definition of measure for English Language Learners

  • : an amount or degree of something

  • : something (such as a cup or a ruler) that is used to measure things

  • : a unit used in measuring something


measure

verb

Definition of measure for English Language Learners

  • : to find out the size, length, or amount of (something)

  • : to find out the size of (someone) for clothing

  • : to judge the importance, value, or extent of (something)


MEASURE Defined for Kids

1

measure

noun mea·sure \ ˈme-zhər \

Definition of measure for Students

1 :extent 2, degree, amount
  • Our plan did succeed in large measure.
2 :the size, capacity, or quantity of something that has been determined
  • Use equal measures of flour and milk.
3 :something (as a yardstick or cup) used in determining size, capacity, or quantity
4 :a unit used in determining size, capacity, or quantity
  • An inch is a measure of length.
5 :a system of determining size, capacity, or quantity
  • liquid measure
6 :the notes and rests between bar lines on a musical staff
7 :a way of accomplishing something
  • a safety measure
  • The new law is a measure to save energy.
for good measure
:as something added or extra
  • We gave the wall another coat of paint for good measure.

2

measure

verb

Definition of measure for Students

measured; measuring
1 :to find out the size, extent, or amount of
  • You should measure the cloth before cutting.
2 :to separate out a fixed amount
  • She measured the rice.
3 :1estimate
  • I had to measure the distance with my eye.
4 :to bring into comparison
  • Why don't you measure your skill against mine?
5 :to give a determination of size, capacity, or quantity :indicate
  • A thermometer measures temperature.
6 :to have as its size, capacity, or quantity
  • The cloth measures ten meters.
measure up
:to satisfy needs or requirements
  • They did not measure up to expectations.

Medical Dictionary

1

measure

noun mea·sure \ ˈmezh-ər , ˈmāzh- \

medical Definition of measure

1 :an instrument or utensil for measuring
2 :a standard or unit of measurement; also :a system of such measures
  • metric measure

2

measure

verb

medical Definition of measure

measured; measuring play \ˈmezh-(ə-)riŋ, ˈmāzh-\
transitive verb
1 :to allot or apportion in measured amounts
2 :to ascertain the measurements of
3 :to serve as a measure of
  • a thermometer measures temperature
intransitive verb
:to have a specified measurement


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up measure? 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

a blind with adjustable horizontal slats

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?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

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!