Definition of length
lengthsplay \ˈleŋ(k)ths, ˈlen(t)ths, ˈleŋ(k)s\
1a : the longer or longest dimension of an objectb : a measured distance or dimension 10 feet in length — see metric system table, weight tablec : the quality or state of being long the length of the journey
2a : duration or extent in timeb : 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 housesb : 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 hairb : 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
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.
Recent Examples of length from the Web
For the national competition, the length has to be 10 minutes, give or take 30 seconds.
Gibson has cut the average length of time animals stay at the shelter and reduced the number of animals being euthanized.
Students run back and forth the length of the basketball court.
Moderate to difficult Length: 9 miles round trip Rolling mountain views and summer wildflowers – it’s the quintessential payoff on a northwest hike.
The conversation that follows has been edited for length and clarity.
The length may set a record for the court system in the nation’s capital and is likely among the most protracted in the history of American jurisprudence.
This year’s document is poised to be one-third the length of last year’s in Japan, according to three officials involved in the preparation.
The accord also committed to using this same new class of foiling catamarans, just under 50 feet in length, for the next two America’s Cups.
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.
Origin and Etymology of length
Middle English lengthe, from Old English lengthu, from lang long
First Known Use: before 12th century
LENGTH Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of length for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of length for Students
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
1 : very fully We discussed the problem at length.
2 : at the end : finally They decided at length to order pizza.
Seen and Heard
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