measure

noun
mea·​sure | \ ˈme-zhər How to pronounce measure (audio) , ˈmā- How to pronounce measure (audio) \

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 How to pronounce measuring (audio) , 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 How to pronounce measurability (audio) , ˌmā-​ ; ˌmezh-​rə-​ , ˌmāzh-​ \ noun
measurable \ ˈme-​zhə-​rə-​bəl How to pronounce measurable (audio) , ˈmā-​ ; ˈmezh-​rə-​ , ˈmāzh-​ \ adjective
measurably \ -​blē How to pronounce measurably (audio) \ adverb
measurer \ -​zhər-​ər How to pronounce measurer (audio) \ 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 Anti-Chafe Stick works as a preventative measure, the Anti-Chafe Ointment is ideal for folks who are already feeling the effects of skin friction. Marci Robin, Allure, "Loey Lane's New Brand Love AnyBody Launches Affordable Body-Care Products at Target," 4 Apr. 2019 China’s government is taking other measures to stimulate economic expansion, including tax cuts and selective spending on infrastructure. Shen Hong, WSJ, "China’s Entrepreneurs Are Left High and Dry Despite a Flood of Credit," 1 Apr. 2019 But if that’s not happening at your job, workers can take their own preventive measures to avoid burnout. Marcia Heroux Pounds, The Seattle Times, "Burning out? Try to disconnect from work," 26 Mar. 2019 Finally, your test also will include your soil’s pH, a measure of how acidic or alkaline your soil is. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "Here's How to Understand Fertilizer Numbers and Letters," 21 Mar. 2019 In some instances, Black mothers have taken measures into their own hands to ensure that their children are properly educated and supported. Jenn M. Jackson, Teen Vogue, "Access to Education for Black Children Proves Difficult for Their Parents, Creating a Disadvantage," 13 Mar. 2019 While the data so far is promising for better health, the key measures of success — like body acceptance and self-esteem — are harder to measure in a consistent, qualitative way than pounds lost. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "What Is Intuitive Eating? How to Eat Better Without Dieting, According to Nutritionists," 6 Mar. 2019 Should social media users break the above guidelines, administrators of the royal family's accounts will hide or delete comments as necessary, and will also take measures to block users. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "The British Royal Family Issues Social Media Guidelines to Prevent Online Abuse," 4 Mar. 2019 Researchers at MIT Media Lab have worked on a program that could give them a utility as well as aesthetic benefit—tattoos that could take health measures like pH and glucose levels. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The United States' Oldest Tattoo Needle Is an Inked-Up Cactus Spine," 28 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Weight: Weight is an indicator of density, as it is measured by square foot. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "The Best Carpet Types for a Perfectly Grounded Space," 13 Feb. 2019 Those changes include weaker bargaining power for workers, as well as changes in the composition of the workforce that could create more slack than is measured by the unemployment rate. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "New York Fed Chief Calls for Reassessing Inflation-Targeting Framework," 22 Feb. 2019 Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl or measuring cup with a spout. Redbook Test Kitchen, Redbook, "Berry Custard Crunch," 20 Aug. 2018 One metric that Qualcomm and Intel may end up adjusting is exactly how battery life is measured. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Inside Project Athena: How Intel and PC makers are creating the ultra-responsive laptops of tomorrow," 7 Jan. 2019 Ookla’s data was measured using its Speedtest during the second and third quarters of 2018. Rani Molla, Recode, "U.S. internet speeds rose nearly 40 percent this year," 12 Dec. 2018 Similarly, the impact of video games on attention depends on the type of game that is played and the type of attention that is being measured. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Is our constant use of digital technologies affecting our brain health? We asked 11 experts.," 29 Nov. 2018 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

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

9 Apr 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 How to pronounce measure (audio) \

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 How to pronounce measure (audio) , ˈmāzh- How to pronounce measure (audio) \

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-​ How to pronounce measuring (audio) \

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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