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

Example Sentences

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 win was all but assured from there, but UConn ended the game on a 9-0 run for good measure. Lila Bromberg, Hartford Courant, 21 Jan. 2023 Even so, Rahm hunted down some challenges for good measure. Bryce Millercolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Jan. 2023 There's even a few Irish TV series on Netflix thrown in there for good measure. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, 13 Jan. 2023 Heads explode, Keanu often shooting the same head two or three times for good measure. Wyatt Mason, Harper’s Magazine , 6 Jan. 2023 Now, for his latest trick, the long-dead prophet says 2023 is shaping up to be a doozy of a year, which may include great floods, fires on Mars, and some casual cannibalism, for good measure. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 4 Jan. 2023 In his final season with the Bucks, Abdul-Jabbar provided one last eye-popping offensive performance, hitting 18 of 29 shots and 16 of 20 from the free-throw line, with 18 rebounds for good measure. Jr Radcliffe, Journal Sentinel, 4 Jan. 2023 Then our pajamas, put on early (for good measure) and inside out (no matter how itchy the seams). Kate Cray, The Atlantic, 4 Jan. 2023 For good measure, Andersen began posting face-filter videos on his personal account, too. Jacob Sweet, The New Yorker, 3 Jan. 2023
Verb
Most mammals exit the womb with hind limbs that measure only about 20 to 60 percent of their maximum size. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 11 Jan. 2023 Blood is continuously moving through arteries and veins and capillaries that measure 60,000 miles long. Heather Lanier, Longreads, 10 Jan. 2023 Spruce up your bathroom with this two-piece set of oversized bath towels that measure 30 inches by 54 inches. Toni Sutton, Peoplemag, 10 Jan. 2023 One of the detection benches suspended in a vacuum chamber, hosting photodetectors that measure Virgo’s output light. WIRED, 9 Jan. 2023 As 2023 dawns, two major academic organizations that measure the progress of inclusion in Hollywood are looking back at the track record for 2022 in film. Rebecca Sun, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Jan. 2023 Biological age was determined by biomarkers that measure the performance of different organ systems and processes, including cardiovascular, renal (relating to the kidneys), respiratory, metabolic, immune and inflammatory biomarkers. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 2 Jan. 2023 The sleep mat is a strip of fabric with pneumatic sensors that measure respiratory rate, heartbeats, and body movements as well as a sound sensor tuned to listen for snoring and gaps in breathing. Kasandra Brabaw, Fortune, 28 Dec. 2022 To learn about that quantum state, researchers then measure all the qubits in the array. Ben Brubaker, Quanta Magazine, 9 Jan. 2023 See More

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.

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 2 Feb. 2023.

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

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

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