length

noun
\ 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 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

That inherent issue of length with this format—a way to skirt DNC restrictions—is precisely why a real debate on climate change is still needed. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "A Seven-Hour Case for a Real Climate Debate," 5 Sep. 2019 Then not to mention the athleticism, the speed, the length that Myles (Garrett) has. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland.com, "Myles Garrett on the Browns’ D-line: ‘It’s going to be a bloodbath’ he says in ESPN’s Body Issue," 4 Sep. 2019 The play’s three-hour length and unconventional, patiently simmering dramatic structure reportedly incensed some audience members in its original New York production. Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, "Review: ‘The Flick’ in Berkeley is long, funny, sad and a must-see," 4 Sep. 2019 Allen praised Justus’ clutch gene after the game, as with each kick came more pressure — and more length. Stefan Krajisnik, Indianapolis Star, "Logan Justus puts best foot forward in IU's season-opening win," 1 Sep. 2019 The set up that most pro anglers now use is a spinning reel with the spool filled with 10-pound-test braid, running to at least a rod’s length of 6- to 8-pound-test clear mono. Frank Sargeant, al, "Should anglers use finesse lures for Alabama bass?," 1 Sep. 2019 Each ingredient was suspended above the flames by wires cut to a precise length to control for cooking time and temperature. CBS News, "The Dish: Open fire cooking icon Francis Mallmann," 31 Aug. 2019 There is just one hotel, and only a handful of restaurants more ambitious than burger shacks, spread over the island’s 38-mile length. Wade Graham, Smithsonian, "Why Molokai, With All Its Wonders, Is the Least Developed of Hawai’i’s Islands," 31 Aug. 2019 The photos are also a reminder of the lengths to which women often have to go, physically and emotionally, to make sure their babies get fed. Cassie Werber, Quartz at Work, "Documenting the comedy, beauty, and pain of pumping breastmilk at work," 30 Aug. 2019

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

9 Sep 2019

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

length

noun

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

length

noun
\ 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.

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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

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