I. gage /ɡeɪdʒ/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
an American spelling of ↑ gauge
II. gauge 1 BrE AmE ( also gage American English ) /ɡeɪdʒ/ noun [countable]
[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old North French ]
1 . INSTRUMENT an instrument for measuring the size or amount of something
fuel/temperature/pressure etc gauge
The petrol gauge is still on full.
2 . WIDTH/THICKNESS a measurement of the width or thickness of something such as wire or metal:
a 27-gauge needle
heavy-gauge black polythene
3 . a gauge of something something that helps you make a judgment about a person or situation:
Retail sales are a gauge of consumer spending.
The tests will give parents a gauge of how their children are doing.
4 . RAILWAY the distance between the lines of a railway or between the wheels of a train:
a standard gauge railway
broad/narrow gauge (=with more/less than the standard distance between the rails)
5 . GUN the width of the ↑ barrel of a gun:
a 12-gauge shotgun
• • •
■ NOUN + gauge
▪ a fuel gauge ( also petrol gauge British English ), gas gauge AmE:
The fuel gauge read a little over half full.
▪ a pressure gauge
He checked the pressure gauge on the oxygen cylinder.
▪ a temperature gauge
The oil temperature gauge was twice its normal reading.
▪ a depth gauge
A depth gauge is essential for telling you how deep you are when diving.
▪ check the gauge
Steve checked the oil gauge.
▪ the gauge shows something
The gauge showed an abnormal increase in radiation.
▪ the gauge reads something (=it shows something)
The petrol gauge read empty.