measure

1 of 2

noun

mea·​sure ˈme-zhər How to pronounce measure (audio) ˈmā- How to pronounce measure (audio)
1
a(1)
: an adequate or due portion
all too few of the British actresses … have received their measure of remembranceSaturday Review
(2)
: a moderate degree
(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 imaginationG. F. Kennan
d(1)
: a measured quantity
(2)
: amount, degree
giving children a greater measure of freedom
2
a
: 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
4
a(1)
(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

measure

2 of 2

verb

measured; measuring ˈme-zhə-riŋ How to pronounce measure (audio)
ˈmā-;
ˈmezh-riŋ,
ˈmāzh-

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
measurer
ˈme-zhər-ər How to pronounce measure (audio)
ˈmā-;
ˈmezh-rə-
ˈmāzh-
noun
Phrases
for good measure
: in addition to the minimum required : as an extra
added another illustration for good measure

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The measure would allow any Texas law enforcement officer to arrest people who are suspected of entering the country illegally. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, arkansasonline.com, 16 Feb. 2024 The measure directs district courts to send the secretary of corrections a death warrant within 30 days after a final judgment. Katie Bernard, Kansas City Star, 16 Feb. 2024 Offensive rating measures the number of points a team scores per 100 possessions. Jason Anderson, Sacramento Bee, 16 Feb. 2024 During this time, the sheriff said inmates were allowed to contact credit reporting agencies to freeze their credit as a cautionary measure, WSB-TV reported. Tanasia Kenney, Miami Herald, 16 Feb. 2024 With marina docks, adopting measures to ensure a splinter-free dock or a hazard-free environment is as important as offering luxury amenities. Kenneth Svendsen, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 Eighteen Republicans hailing from states where the cap on the deductions is not an issue for the vast majority of taxpayers also voted against the rule allowing for consideration of the measure. Kevin Freking, Fortune, 15 Feb. 2024 Another crucial measure will be the impact of our initiatives on managing rising property taxes, and our effectiveness in creating high-quality jobs that pay living wages, fostering economic stability and growth in Tarrant County. Noah Alcala Bach, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 15 Feb. 2024 The misshapen Phobos measures roughly 17 by 14 by 11 miles across. Carlyn Kranking, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 Feb. 2024
Verb
Researchers used the Montreal Cognitive Assessment scale (MoCA) to measure improved cognitive ability. Nick Blackmer, Verywell Health, 16 Feb. 2024 The theory gained a lot of traction, and today investors will often measure the return of their portfolio only after considering how much risk was taken to earn it. Will Daniel, Fortune, 16 Feb. 2024 Among the displays were high tech sensors that allow golf course agronomists to measure water, soil, salinity and light to help reduce water use and assist with disease prevention. Candace Oehler, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 California’s overall score in the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the federal government’s program of measuring academic achievement, is equally bleak, ranked seventh from the bottom. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, 16 Feb. 2024 More than $134 million in contracts have been awarded to firms with those designations, developers said in a new report measuring the project’s economic, environmental and social impact. Lorraine Mirabella, Baltimore Sun, 15 Feb. 2024 In 1995, the stock market (as measured by the S&P 500) jumped 34 percent because of enthusiasm regarding computers. Kevin A. Hassett, National Review, 15 Feb. 2024 The fragmented structure was rectangular and measured about 26 feet by about 23 feet. Aspen Pflughoeft, Miami Herald, 5 Feb. 2024 And in the second half of 2023, inflation was measured at an annual pace of just 2%, matching the Fed’s target level, down drastically from a peak of 7.1% in the summer of 2022. Christopher Rugaber, Fortune, 5 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'measure.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near measure

Cite this Entry

“Measure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/measure. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

measure

1 of 2 noun
mea·​sure ˈmezh-ər How to pronounce measure (audio) ˈmāzh- How to pronounce measure (audio)
1
a
: an adequate, fixed, or suitable limit or amount
surprised beyond measure
b
: amount entry 2, extent, degree
gained a large measure of freedom
2
a
: the size, capacity, or quantity of something as fixed by measuring
use equal measures of ingredients
b
: something (as a yardstick or cup) used in measuring
c
: a unit used in measuring
the foot is a measure of length
d
: a system of measuring
metric measure
3
: the act or process of measuring
4
a
: dance entry 2 sense 2
especially : a slow and stately dance
b
: rhythm or movement in music or poetry : meter, cadence
c
: the part of a musical staff between two bars or the group of beats between these bars
5
: an action planned or taken to achieve a desired result
especially : a legislative bill or act
measure table

measure

2 of 2 verb
measured; measuring ˈmezh-(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce measure (audio)
ˈmāzh-
1
: to mark or fix in multiples of a specific unit
measure out two cups
2
: to find out the size, extent, or amount of
measure the piece of paper
3
: estimate entry 1 sense 1
measured the distance with my eye
4
: to bring into comparison
measure your skill against an opponent's
5
: to serve as a measure of
a thermometer measures temperature
6
: to have as its measurement
the room measures 12 by 12 feet
measurer noun
Etymology

Noun

Middle English mesure "measure," from early French mesure (same meaning), from Latin mensura "measure," from mensus, past participle of metiri "to measure" — related to dimension, immense

Medical Definition

measure

1 of 2 noun
mea·​sure ˈmezh-ər How to pronounce measure (audio) ˈmāzh- How to pronounce measure (audio)
1
: an instrument or utensil for measuring
2
: a standard or unit of measurement
also : a system of such measures
metric measure

measure

2 of 2 verb
measured; measuring ˈmezh-(ə-)riŋ, ˈmāzh- How to pronounce measure (audio)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on measure

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