\ˈleŋ(k)th, ˈlen(t)th \
plural lengths\ˈleŋ(k)ths, 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 plural went 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 combination elbow-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.

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The power of his unmatched length and untapped potential has already been on display in Vegas. San Antonio Express-News, "The Bamba Project is still in early stages," 11 July 2018 His length and instincts play nicely as a man-to-man defender. Jeremy Woo, SI.com, "Rookie Report Cards: The Most Noteworthy Summer League Showings," 11 July 2018 At 6-5, his length and aggressiveness can be difficult to contain. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Edmond Sumner's ability to fill multiple positions well should boost his stock with Pacers," 10 July 2018 Currently, Hawaii does not use DST because its close enough to the equator that its day lengths don’t change too drastically; Arizona also has chosen not to adopt summer hours and opted for an earlier sunset during the hottest time of the year. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "The EU Mulls Ditching Daylight Saving Time," 9 July 2018 But there's something about a center line that makes your look fresher and edgier, no matter what your length or texture is. refinery29.com, "The Latest Hollywood Hair Trend Takes 3 Seconds To Master," 6 July 2018 He will be paid $154 million over four years, a contract impressive less in its cash than in its length. Jason Gay, WSJ, "It’s La-La Land for LeBron James," 2 July 2018 This house covers a corner lot in Birmingham, with its longest length on the side street. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "Modern addition gives this 90-year-old Birmingham home a dramatic flair," 29 June 2018 In the event that a current Justice has already exceeded 15 years, their term length to date is used. David Johnson, Time, "Here's How Donald Trump's Influence on the Supreme Court Compares to Other Presidents," 28 June 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for length

Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for length

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

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More Definitions for length



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 \

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.

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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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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