cal·​i·​ber | \ ˈka-lə-bər How to pronounce caliber (audio) , British also kə-ˈlē- \
variants: or calibre

Definition of caliber

1a : degree of mental capacity or moral quality teachers of high caliber
b : degree of excellence or importance the caliber of instruction
2a : the diameter of a bullet or other projectile
b : the diameter of a bore of a gun usually expressed in hundredths or thousandths of an inch and typically written as a decimal fraction .32 caliber
3 : the diameter of a round or cylindrical body especially : the internal diameter of a hollow cylinder

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Synonyms for caliber


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Examples of caliber in a Sentence

I was impressed by the high caliber of the team's work. musicians of the highest caliber perform at that concert hall
Recent Examples on the Web The Golden State Warriors’ playoff chances don’t just hinge on Stephen Curry having another MVP-caliber season, Klay Thompson returning effectively from an Achilles injury and Draymond Green shutting down opponents. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, 23 Sep. 2021 Guy’s a Pro Bowl-caliber player, very good teammate, the sort of player the New-Dey Bengals claim to crave. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 14 Sep. 2021 The hopes are undoubtedly high and the tallies in the win column back the expectations up; however, A&M’s wealth of offensive losses prevent another high-caliber season from being all but said and done. Dallas News, 25 Aug. 2021 Verrett, when available, is a Pro Bowl-caliber player, and no other outside cornerback on the roster can come close to making that claim. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, 25 July 2021 But everything is different this time around and Yelich looks ready to unleash another MVP-caliber season. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 30 Mar. 2021 McAfee expressed optimism about Wentz reuniting with coach Frank Reich, who developed Wnetz into a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback following the draft. Joe Mutascio, The Indianapolis Star, 18 Feb. 2021 But that doesn’t change the fact that, without Thompson’s two-way prowess, the Warriors need Curry to deliver an MVP-caliber season to contend in the West. Connor Letourneau,, 18 Dec. 2020 Jacoby Brissett, while not of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s caliber, is a solid NFL backup QB. Keven Lerner,, 23 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caliber.' 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 caliber

1588, in the meaning defined at sense 2b

History and Etymology for caliber

borrowed from Middle French calibre "internal diameter of a cylindrical object, displacement of a gun," borrowed (by uncertain mediation) from Arabic qālab, qālib "mold for casting metal, shoemaker's last," borrowed from Greek kalapod-, kalápous, kalópous "shoemaker's last," from kâla (plural) "wood, timber" (of uncertain origin) + -a- (perhaps after tetrápous "four-footed") or -o- -o- + poús "foot" — more at foot entry 1

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Time Traveler for caliber

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The first known use of caliber was in 1588

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Dictionary Entries Near caliber



caliber compass

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Statistics for caliber

Last Updated

10 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Caliber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for caliber



English Language Learners Definition of caliber

: level of excellence, skill, etc.
: a measurement of the width of a bullet or a gun barrel


variants: or calibre \ ˈka-​lə-​bər \

Kids Definition of caliber

1 : level of excellence, skill, or importance She is a writer of the highest caliber.
2 : the diameter of a bullet or of the hole in the barrel of a gun


variants: or chiefly British calibre \ ˈkal-​ə-​bər, British also kə-​ˈlē-​ \

Medical Definition of caliber

: the diameter of a round or cylindrical body especially : the internal diameter of a hollow cylinder

More from Merriam-Webster on caliber

Nglish: Translation of caliber for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of caliber for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about caliber


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