measure

noun
mea·​sure | \ ˈme-zhər , ˈmā- \

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 , 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 , ˌmā-​ ; ˌmezh-​rə-​ , ˌmāzh-​ \ noun
measurable \ ˈme-​zhə-​rə-​bəl , ˈmā-​ ; ˈmezh-​rə-​ , ˈmāzh-​ \ adjective
measurably \ -​blē \ adverb
measurer \ -​zhər-​ər \ 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

While the government is pushing for softer measures such as sterilization for the pigs and education for humans who feed them, others say the solution is a full-scale cull of the swine. Alice Fung, The Seattle Times, "In year of the pig, Hong Kong has had enough of wild ones," 6 Feb. 2019 However, ship captains can counter such surveillance by simply turning the beacons off—a potentially dangerous measure that removes them from the map. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "How Small Satellites Will Help Police Earth's Vast Oceans," 4 Feb. 2019 The visit by Meghan and Harry came unannounced, suggesting that the royals wanted to keep this visit low-key, as well as to protect Meghan, who is expecting her first child this spring, with extra security measures. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Wrote Messages on Bananas at a Sex Worker Nonprofit," 1 Feb. 2019 As a short-term measure, alcohol does seem to help. Claire Gillespie, Glamour, "Self-Care Only Worked for Me When I Got Sober," 22 Dec. 2018 Data firm IHS Markit said its composite Purchasing Managers Index—a measure of activity in the manufacturing and services sectors—fell to 50.7 in January from 51.1 in December, its lowest level in 5½ years. Ira Iosebashvili, WSJ, "Euro Hits Lowest Level in Three Weeks," 24 Jan. 2019 Baltimore, Maryland resident Carolyn Turgeon, 47, who somehow manages to juggle writing novels and non-fiction books while editing Enchanted Living tells me she's discovered silence, and a strange measure of solitude, at the local pool. Jill Gleeson, Good Housekeeping, "I Don’t Need Meditation Apps. I Need Real, Genuine Solitude.," 14 Jan. 2019 The elder Biden is known for plain—and sometimes tough—talk, as well as a good measure of personal charisma. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "Who’s In and Who’s Out of the 2020 Presidential Race—So Far," 3 Jan. 2019 Maybe that’s the true measure of tech’s impact on our cities. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Big cities courting big tech helped define 2018," 18 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Triton 500 boasts a 15.6-inch 1080p display, with bezels that measure 6.3 mm on a side. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Acer's Predator Triton 500 marries Nvidia's mobile RTX graphics with 144Hz G-Sync," 6 Jan. 2019 The industry standard for such is that the unit must be able to remove at least 99.97% of particulates measuring 0.3 micron diameter in a lab setting. Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, "Do Air Purifiers Actually Work?," 17 Dec. 2018 Her work involves monitoring changes in the Arctic through satellite data, measuring how quickly sea ice is disappearing (and why), and investigating what the impacts are for the surrounding areas and the planet. Hans Aschim, Harper's BAZAAR, "Three Women in Science Who Broke the Glass Ceiling," 5 Oct. 2018 Apple was the country’s No. 3 handset maker, measured by unit sales, in 2015, according to International Data Corp. Tripp Mickle, WSJ, "Apple Makes Rare Cut to Sales Guidance," 2 Jan. 2019 To measure the tiny suits and gowns, the seamstresses often use doll dress patterns or Coke cans. Kate Bennis, Good Housekeeping, "These Angel Gowns Bring Comfort to Grieving Families," 26 Dec. 2018 Another way to measure effectiveness, as the channel explains, is to examine how much of a threat the Allies considered the Tiger battalions. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Was the Famous German Tiger Tank Really That Great?," 20 Dec. 2018 The company opened a small-format store in central London this fall and will open its largest city-center location yet (measuring some 53,800 square feet) in Paris next spring. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "Ikea’s first city-center store in the U.S. to open in Manhattan," 3 Dec. 2018 Advertising is its smallest segment, measured by revenue, but its fastest-growing. Rani Molla, Recode, "Amazon is stuffing its search results pages with ads," 11 Sep. 2018

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

12 Feb 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 \

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 , ˈmāzh- \

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-​ \

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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