\ ˈleŋ(k)th How to pronounce length (audio) , ˈlen(t)th How to pronounce length (audio) \
plural lengths\ ˈleŋ(k)ths How to pronounce lengths (audio) , ˈlen(t)ths , ˈleŋ(k)s \

Definition of length

1a : the longer or longest dimension of an object
b : a measured distance or dimension 10 feet in length — see Metric System Table, Weights and Measures Table
c : the quality or state of being long the length of the journey
2a : duration or extent in time
b : relative duration or stress of a sound (such as a vowel or syllable in prose or a note in music)
3a : distance or extent in space a street with its length of colonial houses
b : the length of something taken as a unit of measure his horse led by a length
4 : the degree to which something (such as a course of action or a line of thought) is carried often used in pluralwent to great lengths to learn the truth
5a : a long expanse or stretch her lengths of lustrous hair
b : a piece constituting or usable as part of a whole or of a connected series : section a length of pipe
6 : the longer or vertical dimension of a piece of clothing often used in combinationelbow-length sleeves
at length
1 : fully, comprehensively The issue was debated at length.
2 : at last : finally We at length reached the top of the mountain.

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of length in a Sentence

The length of the table is six feet, and its width is three feet. These pins are available in one- and two-inch lengths. The adult animals reach a maximum length of two meters. Your essay should be no more than 250 words in length. the length of a movie They were two car lengths behind us.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The length of Wojnarowski's suspension is unknown but the NBA insider will not be reporting from the NBA bubble in Orlando, Marchand reports. Jace Evans, USA TODAY, "Report: ESPN suspends Adrian Wojnarowski for profane email to Sen. Josh Hawley," 12 July 2020 The race length was a nod to the Ancient Greek legend of a runner who’d been running a message about victory just before collapsing and dying right then and there. New York Times, "PAoLO giordano," 8 July 2020 The average length of stay for animals at AAWL was 15 days prior to the pandemic, according to Morefield, and that number was decreasing in June as people eagerly took pets home. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, "'We need our pets now more than ever': Phoenix rescue animals find homes during COVID-19," 6 July 2020 The length of long-grain rice is about five times the width; when cooked the grains are distinctly loose, fluffy and don’t stick together. cleveland, "How to make a perfect pot of rice in a saucepan, Instant Pot or automatic cooker," 29 June 2020 Although it could be considered marketing, the length of the Uber Eats offer is impressive, Green said. Cheryl V. Jackson, The Indianapolis Star, "Uber Eats' plan to offer free delivery to Black-owned restaurants fizzles in Indianapolis," 19 June 2020 There was no explanation for the length of the penalty. John Caniglia, cleveland, "Report blasts former Cleveland Public Safety Director Michael McGrath for being lenient with problem police officers," 13 July 2020 Lake Michigan always leads in drownings because of the wind patterns over its 307-mile length and the large number of people who live along its shores. Bill Mcgraw, Detroit Free Press, "It's swimming season in Michigan's lakes and rivers: Have fun but use caution," 12 July 2020 Adding Nurkic and Collins to a frontline that already includes Hassan Whiteside gives Stotts a major boost in length and rim protection. oregonlive, "NBA bubble has ‘an AAU feel,' but it’s high-level basketball as Portland Trail Blazers return to full practice," 12 July 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of length

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for length

Middle English lengthe, from Old English lengthu, from lang long

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about length

Time Traveler for length

Time Traveler

The first known use of length was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for length

Last Updated

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Length.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/length. Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for length


How to pronounce length (audio) How to pronounce length (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of length

: the distance from one end of something to the other end : a measurement of how long something is
: the size or extent of a piece of writing
: the quality or state of being long


\ ˈleŋth How to pronounce length (audio) \

Kids Definition of length

1 : the measured distance from one end to the other of the longer or longest side of an object
2 : a measured distance The road is three miles in length.
3 : the amount of time something takes The movie is two hours in length.
4 : a piece of something that is long She bought a length of pipe.
5 : the distance from top to bottom of an article of clothing knee-length pants
6 : the sound of a vowel or syllable as it is affected by the time needed to pronounce it
at length
1 : very fully We discussed the problem at length.
2 : at the end : finally They decided at length to order pizza.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on length

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for length

Spanish Central: Translation of length

Nglish: Translation of length for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of length for Arabic Speakers

Comments on length

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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