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 \ ˈme-​zhə-​rə-​blē How to pronounce measurably (audio) , ˈmā-​ ; ˈmezh-​rə-​ , ˈmāzh-​ \ adverb
measurer \ ˈme-​zhər-​ər How to pronounce measurer (audio) , ˈmā-​ ; ˈmezh-​rə-​ , ˈmāzh-​ \ 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

Several safety measures, including the positioning of fireworks and proper disposal, can keep the community safe this holiday. Chevall Pryce, Houston Chronicle, "First responders warn citizens to be careful with fireworks," 28 June 2019 Marc Stein of the New York Times reports the Lakers plan to go after Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving in equal measure, despite rumors that Irving has his mind set on the Brooklyn Nets. cleveland.com, "Lakers mulling LeBron, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis super team," 28 June 2019 Under most public option and Medicare buy-in measures, most Americans who get health insurance through their work would be unaffected. Dena Bunis, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Your guide to the debate on the future of health care," 28 June 2019 The next step for proponents is a statewide decriminalization measure, which could go on a 2020 ballot. Erin Allday, SFChronicle.com, "Can psychedelics heal? A growing movement says yes," 28 June 2019 The bureau also calculates the Supplemental Poverty Measure, which accounts for government programs that assist low-income families and are not considered in the official poverty measure. USA TODAY, "Fact checking Thursday's Democratic debate on climate change, guns and immigration," 28 June 2019 By one typical measure—median house price divided by median family income—Hong Kong is the world’s most expensive city, with visible disparity between rich and poor. Isabella Steger, Quartz, "Where you shop and where you eat is now a political choice in Hong Kong," 25 June 2019 Southwest Airlines and United Airlines followed similar measures, with Southwest’s cancellations affecting 100 flights per day and United’s cancellations estimated at 2,400 flights in June and July alone. Stephie Grob Plante, Vox, "What happens when (and if) the Boeing 737 Max returns to the air?," 24 June 2019 Measuring by income alone The first way that the U.S. monitors poverty is through the official poverty measure. Debra Brucker, The Conversation, "US poverty statistics ignore millions of struggling Americans," 24 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Auburn has never placed in the Top 10, though that’s likely due to the fact that the Tigers don’t compete in many sports, such as men’s soccer, either men’s or women’s lacrosse, or rowing — all of which are measured. Sam Blum | Sblum@al.com, al.com, "Auburn places No. 37 in Directors Cup, measuring yearly athletic success," 28 June 2019 Under this lens, the success of the Olympic Games will be measured. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Italy Won the 2026 Winter Olympics Bid. Here’s Why That Could Be Trouble," 26 June 2019 Water quality samples measure three types of bacteria: total coliform, fecal coliform and enterococcus. San Diego Union-Tribune, "North County beaches, among the best in state, get top grades for cleanliness," 26 June 2019 Summit is subscriptions: the users who pay annual or monthly fees to unlock features not available in the free app, such as power and heart-rate metrics, the Fitness and Freshness index (which measures training load), and Beacon, a location tracker. Joe Lindsey, Outside Online, "The Coach That Meets You in Your Inbox," 24 June 2019 Poverty is measured in the U.S. in two ways – but both focus on a lack of income. Debra Brucker, The Conversation, "US poverty statistics ignore millions of struggling Americans," 24 June 2019 Directly observing stress is tricky — in most cases, researchers end up measuring it in the aftermath. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "What Science Says About Why You're Stressed and How to Cope," 21 June 2019 The base also measures 65 stacks across and 65 back. Molly Hudson, azcentral, "Phoenix YouTuber says it took common cents to build record-setting pyramid," 20 June 2019 Independence Lake, Truckee: The snow depth was measured at 84 inches here this week. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Snow thaw means Sierra campgrounds finally opening for summer," 20 June 2019

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

2 Jul 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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