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 measure (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

measurer \ ˈme-​zhər-​ər How to pronounce measure (audio) , ˈmā-​ ; ˈmezh-​rə-​ , ˈmāzh-​ \ noun

Synonyms for measure

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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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 Republicans uniformly oppose Biden’s plan to pay for the measure by hiking taxes. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "GOP plotting narrow alternative to Biden's massive infrastructure proposal," 14 Apr. 2021 This home contains two bars, an eight-person private home theater, and a dining room with a constellation-style ceiling with the dining room furniture thrown in for good measure. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Hot property: 15-foot fountain and fireplace in the bathroom are just two of the perks on this Baltimore County property," 14 Apr. 2021 The Indy Parks and Recreation Department expressed support for the measure in a statement. Amelia Pak-harvey, The Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis could ban smoking in parks if proposal passes," 13 Apr. 2021 Seven of the 22 Democrats in the House voted for the measure, while 10 Republicans voted against it. CBS News, "Arkansas House sends governor hate crimes bill advocates decry as "sham"," 13 Apr. 2021 But wait, there’s one final sketch thrown in for good measure. Los Angeles Times, "Mick Jagger and Dave Grohl’s new song forces us to relive 2020’s pandemic blues," 13 Apr. 2021 Seven of the 22 Democrats in the House voted for the measure, while 10 Republicans voted against it. Arkansas Online, "Arkansas House sends governor stripped-down hate crimes bill," 13 Apr. 2021 Seven of the 22 Democrats in the House voted for the measure, while 10 Republicans voted against it. Andrew Demillo, Star Tribune, "Arkansas House sends governor stripped-down hate crimes bill," 12 Apr. 2021 Its greatest hits included a global pandemic, shocking levels of social injustice, record-breaking natural disasters, unrivaled political turmoil, world economic declines and a sprinkling of murder hornets for good measure. Robin Kirby, Forbes, "Three Lessons From 2020 That Corporate America Should Never Forget," 12 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Earlier this year, nearly 70 companies and global business leaders committed to disclose a set of universal metrics to measure their performance in terms of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. Carmine Di Sibio, Fortune, "Stakeholder capitalism isn’t a new idea," 16 Apr. 2021 But public opinion is impossible to measure in China because of pervasive state surveillance and social control. Los Angeles Times, "How Beijing silences Chinese voices against oppression of Uyghurs," 1 Apr. 2021 The new Google algorithm update supplements last year’s establishment of Core Web Vitals, which measure page speed and responsiveness in those crucial first 10 to 15 seconds. Yec, Forbes, "2021 Google Algorithm Update: Double Down On Website User Experience," 17 Mar. 2021 For centuries, money issued by governments has served as the lifeblood of the global economy — the currencies in which people hold savings, make payments and keep accounts, and in which nations measure their wealth and geopolitical power. Star Tribune, "Cryptocurrency is rising. So are the stakes for governments everywhere.," 17 Mar. 2021 The emergency room sent him home with an inhaler to help with his breathing and a pulse oximeter to measure the level of oxygen in his blood. USA Today, "This man survived COVID-19. His treatment odyssey shows how complicated that can be.," 14 Mar. 2021 Also, in the early days of the pandemic, the necessary laboratory tests to measure the quantity and quality of antibodies in plasma were not widely available. Arturo Casadevall, STAT, "For early testing of convalescent plasma, we were ‘building the plane while we were flying it’," 4 Mar. 2021 Woods argues that tests are useless because they’re supposed to measure instruction in a regular learning environment. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Preaching vaccines, bonnet scheme, well water: News from around our 50 states," 22 Feb. 2021 The rates measure new cases in the last 14 days per 100,000 residents. Jackie Borchardt, The Enquirer, "COVID-19 cases are going down in Ohio, so why is the county heat map still red?," 19 Feb. 2021

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

Middle English mesure "act of measuring, instrument for measuring, standard unit of quantity, size, measurable amount, proper proportion, moderation, tempurance," borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to Latin mensūra "act of measuring, dimension determined by measurement, amount, instrument for measuring," from mensus, past participle of mētior, mētīrī "to determine the extent of, mark off by measuring" + -ūra -ure; mētior verbal derivative of an Indo-European noun *meh1-ti- "act of measuring" (whence Old English mǣth "measure, degree, efficacy," Greek mêtis "measure, skill,, craft," Sanskrit māti- "measure, correct understanding"), nominal derivative of a verbal base *meh1-, whence, as a reduplicated present, Sanskrit mímite "(s/he) measures, shares," Avestan framimaθā "(s/he) should arrange"

Note: The irregular past participle mensus, alongside a regular derivative mētītus only found in later classical texts, may have been formed by analogy with pensus, past participle of pendere "to weigh."

Verb

Middle English mesuren "to calculate the measurements of, determine the extent of by measuring, apportion, moderate, control, judge," borrowed from Anglo-French mesurer, going back to Late Latin mensūrāre "to calculate the measurements of," derivative of mensūra measure entry 1

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Time Traveler for measure

Time Traveler

The first known use of measure was in the 13th century

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Statistics for measure

Last Updated

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Measure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/measure. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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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 measure (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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