Meaning of LENGTH in English


Frequency: The word is one of the 1500 most common words in English.


The ~ of something is the amount that it measures from one end to the other along the longest side.

It is about a metre in ~.

...the ~ of the fish...

The plane had a wing span of 34ft and a ~ of 22ft.

N-VAR: oft with poss, oft amount in N, N of amount


The ~ of something such as a piece of writing is the amount of writing that is contained in it.

...a book of at least 100 pages in ~...

The ~ of a paragraph depends on the information it conveys.

N-VAR: oft with poss, oft amount in N


The ~ of an event, activity, or situation is the period of time from beginning to end for which something lasts or during which something happens.

The exact ~ of each period may vary...

His film, over two hours in ~, is a subtle study of family life.

N-VAR: oft with poss, oft amount in N


A ~ of rope, cloth, wood, or other material is a piece of it that is intended to be used for a particular purpose or that exists in a particular situation.

...a 30ft ~ of rope...

You can hang ~s of fabric behind the glass.

N-COUNT: with supp, oft N of n


The ~ of something is its quality of being long.

Many have been surprised at the ~ of time it has taken him to make up his mind...

I noticed, too, the ~ of her fingers.

N-UNCOUNT: usu with supp, oft N of n


If you swim a ~ in a swimming pool, you swim the distance from one end to the other.

I swim 40 ~s a day.

N-COUNT: usu num N


In boat racing or horse racing, a ~ is the distance from the front to the back of the boat or horse. You can talk about one boat or horse being one or more ~s in front of or behind another.

Harvard won by four ~s.

N-COUNT: usu num N


If something happens or exists along the ~ of something, it happens or exists for the whole way along it.

I looked along the ~ of the building...

The inspiration stemming from his travels lasted the ~ of his career.

N-SING: the N of n


see also full-~


If someone does something at ~, they do it after a long period of time. (LITERARY)

At ~ my father went into the house.



If someone does something at ~, they do it for a long time or in great detail.

They spoke at ~, reviewing the entire incident.

PHRASE: PHR after v


If you say that someone goes to great ~s to achieve something, you mean that they try very hard and perhaps do extreme things in order to achieve it.

Greta Garbo went to great ~s to hide from reporters and photographers.

PHRASE: V inflects


at arm’s ~: see arm

the ~ and breadth of: see breadth

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