measure

noun
mea·​sure | \ ˈme-zhər How to pronounce measure (audio) , ˈmā- How to pronounce measure (audio) \

Definition of measure

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : an adequate or due portion all too few of the British actresses … have received their measure of remembranceSaturday 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
2a : 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
4a(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 temporal entry 1 sense 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

measure

verb
measured; measuring\ ˈme-​zhə-​riŋ How to pronounce measuring (audio) , ˈmā-​ ; ˈmezh-​riŋ , ˈmāzh-​ \

Definition of measure (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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

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Other Words from measure

Verb

measurability \ ˌme-​zhə-​rə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce measurability (audio) , ˌmā-​ ; ˌmezh-​rə-​ , ˌmāzh-​ \ noun
measurable \ ˈme-​zhə-​rə-​bəl How to pronounce measurable (audio) , ˈmā-​ ; ˈmezh-​rə-​ , ˈmāzh-​ \ adjective
measurably \ ˈme-​zhə-​rə-​blē How to pronounce measurably (audio) , ˈmā-​ ; ˈmezh-​rə-​ , ˈmāzh-​ \ adverb
measurer \ ˈme-​zhər-​ər How to pronounce measurer (audio) , ˈmā-​ ; ˈmezh-​rə-​ , ˈmāzh-​ \ noun

Synonyms for measure

Synonyms: Noun

expedient, means, move, shift, step

Synonyms: Verb

gauge (also gage), scale, span

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Examples of measure in a Sentence

Noun

She felt equal measures of hope and fear. Their actions were motivated in large measure by a desire for revenge. An occasion like this calls for some measure of decorum. The meter is a measure of length. The dictionary includes a table of weights and measures. The legislature has passed a measure aimed at protecting consumers. The governor has proposed a number of cost-cutting measures. They were forced to resort to desperate measures. We need to take measures to protect ourselves.

Verb

using a ruler to measure a piece of paper an instrument for measuring air pressure mental abilities measured by IQ testing He's being measured for a new suit. His success cannot be measured solely on the basis of his popularity. The cloth measures 3 meters. The room measures 15 feet wide by 30 feet long.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a measure providing $20,000 payments to still-living Japanese-Americans who were interned by their government during World War II. BostonGlobe.com, "This day
in history," 10 Aug. 2019
When Assad deployed these ghastly armaments against civilians in a suburb of Damascus in 2013, however, the punitive measures never materialized. Brian Stewart, National Review, "For Sama: A Chronicle of the Syrian Tragedy," 10 Aug. 2019 The measure creates a dairy premium fund that replaces the milk producers’ emergency relief fund. USA TODAY, "Smokey Bear, tarantula trek, censoring Adam and Eve: News from around our 50 states," 9 Aug. 2019 The measure would allow the United States to move against any company, country or individual trading with Venezuela. The Economist, "America heaps more sanctions on Venezuela," 8 Aug. 2019 Larraz/Marvel For many comic book enthusiasts, the measure of being a true fan is knowing every single thing that happens to your favorite characters — from every issue to the writers, the artists, the tie-ins, and references in other comics. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Marvel just changed everything we thought we knew about the X-Men in one fantastic comic," 8 Aug. 2019 The measure also covers several other companies: ZTE, Hikvision, Dahua, and Hytera. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Walmart Grapples With Guns: CEO Daily," 8 Aug. 2019 Still, the resulting measure is useful as a relative marker between the top contenders. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "Here's how much money Democratic presidential hopefuls have raised so far in Texas to beat Trump," 8 Aug. 2019 The campaign intends to highlight low rates of African-American unemployment and the criminal justice overhaul the president signed, a measure that is already a subject of his campaign’s Facebook advertising. Jonathan Martin, New York Times, "Why a Race-Baiting Trump Is Courting Black Voters," 3 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Business confidence, measured by the Business Confidence Index (BCI), decreased some 1.3% in June from the same month last year. Anne Sraders, Fortune, "Why Business Confidence is Plummeting: the ‘Chaotic’ Environment Makes Planning Problematic," 9 Aug. 2019 And a 1980 study of 170 female and 142 male undergraduates showed lower anxiety and higher ego in firstborns, as measured by the Howarth Personality Questionnaire. Corinna Hartmann, Scientific American, "Does Birth Order Affect Personality?," 8 Aug. 2019 Poverty---measured by the percentage of students whose families receive one or more types of means-tested federal assistance---varied from zero percent to 90%. al, "Here are the highest-spending schools in Alabama," 7 Aug. 2019 In tests, JPMorgan Chase found that Persado’s machine-learning tool crafted better ad copy than its own writers could muster, as measured by the higher click rates—more than double in some case—on digital ads for Chase cards and mortgages. Michelle Cheng, Quartz at Work, "JPMorgan Chase has an AI copywriter that writes better ads than humans can," 7 Aug. 2019 Nine of the country’s 15 largest foundations, as measured by giving, are affiliated with drugmakers, giving the companies large tax breaks while helping maintain high list prices. Noam N. Levey, Los Angeles Times, "Charity becomes a lifeline even for Americans with health insurance as deductibles soar," 4 Aug. 2019 In San Francisco, congestion, as measured by extra time required to complete a journey, increased by 60% from 2010 to 2016, according to Greg Erhardt, a professor at the University of Kentucky. The Economist, "British Columbia gives Uber a cautious go-ahead," 1 Aug. 2019 At high schools in the richest school districts — the top 1 percent as measured by census income data — 5.8 percent of students held a 504 plan, more than double the national average of 2.7 percent. New York Times, "Need Extra Time on Tests? It Helps to Have Cash," 30 July 2019 San Francisco remains a city whose architectural worth for many people is measured by colorful Victorian homes, or such nostalgic icons as the Ferry Building. John King, SFChronicle.com, "Glen Park BART Station could soon be an official national treasure," 27 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of measure

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Verb

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

History and Etymology for measure

Noun and Verb

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

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Statistics for measure

Last Updated

13 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for measure

The first known use of measure was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for measure

measure

noun

English Language Learners Definition of measure

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

English Language Learners Definition of measure (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

noun
mea·​sure | \ ˈme-zhər How to pronounce measure (audio) \

Kids Definition of measure

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : extent sense 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.

measure

verb
measured; measuring

Kids Definition of measure (Entry 2 of 2)

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 : estimate entry 1 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.

measure

noun
mea·​sure | \ ˈmezh-ər How to pronounce measure (audio) , ˈmāzh- How to pronounce measure (audio) \

Medical Definition of measure

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

measure

verb
measured; measuring\ ˈmezh-​(ə-​)riŋ, ˈmāzh-​ How to pronounce measuring (audio) \

Medical Definition of measure (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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