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

On December 21, 2018, President Trump signed First Step into law, which did not include any forgiving measures for immigrants like Daisy’s father. Isabella Gomez, Teen Vogue, "Why Doesn't Criminal Justice Reform Doesn't Include Immigration Law?," 9 Jan. 2019 In the wake of the reports, the Arizona Department of Health Services said new safety measures have been implemented. Terry Tang, The Seattle Times, "Family of woman in vegetative state outraged after baby born," 9 Jan. 2019 Keep in mind that, as Dean points out, any climbing gym should put new climbers through an orientation to learn basic safety measures. Leah Prinzivalli, SELF, "Why You Should Try Bouldering Like Brie Larson," 7 Jan. 2019 The federal government, however, does not determine how districts recover debts from families, and some districts use punitive measures to settle students’ meal accounts. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "How states and crowdfunding are tackling the growing problem of student lunch debt," 27 Dec. 2018 Netflix has said in the past that the overwhelming majority of its views come from people watching on connected TVs, and Jumpshot’s data doesn’t measure that behavior. Rani Molla, Recode, "Here are some of the most popular shows on Netflix — which may be leaving Netflix soon," 21 Dec. 2018 Such measures might become necessary thanks to the increasing numbers of drone incidents that airports are experiencing. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Idiots with drones have shut down the UK’s second largest airport," 20 Dec. 2018 Tech leaders there, working in offices that benefitted from public subsidies, are mostly pushing back against measures to levy taxes on companies to combat the city’s significant homeless crisis. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Big cities courting big tech helped define 2018," 18 Dec. 2018 Preventative measures can be taken in the form of covering sensitive skin with a cotton scarf when heading outdoors. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "How to Prevent Red, Blotchy Winter Skin That Looks Like a Rorschach Test," 26 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This can take a couple of weeks because each piece might have to be custom measured and cut. Brett Martin, House Beautiful, "How Long It Takes To Renovate Every Single Room In Your House," 26 Dec. 2018 The first step in limiting greenhouse gases is to keep track of them and provisions on measuring and verifying carbon dioxide emissions inventories for different countries looks to be strong. Umair Irfan, Vox, "World leaders are working out a climate deal in Poland — despite Trump," 14 Dec. 2018 Leaders at the conference also are trying to put in place a process for how countries measure and report their greenhouse gas emissions to the rest of the world in the years ahead. Chris Mooney, The Seattle Times, "‘We are in trouble.’ Global carbon emissions reached a record high in 2018.," 5 Dec. 2018 Star gazing 1922: Professor Joel Stebbins attaches what is called a photodiode to the Washburn Observatory’s 15-inch telescope to measure and track stars. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "UW scientific advances include vitamins, growing human embryonic stem cells in lab," 12 July 2018 Kavanaugh’s influence will take years to measure and depends on which cases come before him. Brian Bennett, Time, "How Brett Kavanaugh Could Change the Supreme Court—and America," 12 July 2018 Even Sillett, who first measured the height of Hyperion and has discovered and named redwoods, now regrets the practice. Robert Earle Howells, SFChronicle.com, "Should we hide the locations of Earth’s greatest trees?," 3 July 2018 The fish get measured and then tossed back into the pond. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "Give fishing a try at annual Gurnee event," 3 July 2018 The study also measured the quality of those frozen and fresh fish, based on the conductivity of cell structure, and found that the overall score of the frozen fish was at least three times higher than the fresh fish. Bonnie S. Benwick, charlotteobserver, "What you should know about buying frozen fish," 3 July 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

15 Jan 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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Comments on measure

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