Meaning of MEASURE in English

I. ˈmezhə(r), ˈmāzh- noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English mesure, from Old French, from Latin mensura, from mensus (past participle of metiri to measure) + -ura -ure; akin to Old English mǣth measure, Greek metron meter, measure, Sanskrit māti he measures


a. : an adequate, given, or fitting amount or degree:

(1) : commensurate or due portion : quota

all too few of the British actresses … have received their measure of remembrance — Saturday Review

fill the measure of our duty to our defective fellow citizens — B.N.Cardozo

(2) : extent or degree that is not excessive : not undue portion ; also : a sense of proportion or restraint : moderation , temperance

with that tactlessness, that lack of measure that were characteristic of her, went on piling question upon rhetorical question — Aldous Huxley

(3) : fixed or suitable proportion or limit : bounds

angry beyond measure

Greek love of moderation, proportion, harmony, and due measure — Lucius Garvin

the love of God is broader than the measure of man's mind — S.D.Harkness


(1) : the dimensions, capacity, or amount of something ascertained by measuring : measurements, size

a slipcover made to measure

took his measure for a coat

several grades of freemen according to the measure of their wealth — John MacNeill

specifically : the width of a full line of print or type usually expressed in picas

(2) : the limit of the distance at which a fencer can reach his opponent by lunging

(3) : the character, ability, or magnitude of a person or thing considered as a matter of observation or judgment : an estimate of what is to be expected (as of a person or situation)

a show tailored to the measure of its star

whoever tries to … size him up gives an immediate measure of himself — Max Ascoli

the measure of their tragedy is now beyond our imagination — G.F.Kennan

take the measure of the crisis


(1) : a quantity measured out especially in relation to a standard : a measured quantity of a substance or article

using level measures is the easiest … way of measuring — Bee Nilson

tolerance was not dealt in the same measure to men and women — Edith Wharton

: a quantity measuring up to a standard

whether this carton of milk contains full measure — D.M.Turnbull

a play that gives the audience short measure

(2) : amount , extent , degree

rooks consume an enormous quantity of grubs … taking a fair measure of grain by way of reward — British Birds in Colour

giving children a greater measure of freedom

in the measure we buy abroad, profitable markets there will attract capital — T.J.Kreps

d. : the amount or kind of treatment meted out (as in retribution)

the measure which he had dealt to others should now be meted out to him — Edith Sitwell


a. : an instrument (as a yardstick) or a utensil (as a graduated cup) for measuring


(1) : the customary local unit (as of volume) for a particular commodity

the measure containing two Winchester bushels — Robert Forsyth

(2) : a quantity (as of wheat, oil, beans) measured by such a unit

six measures of gravel

(3) : one of a number of equal but indeterminate measured quantities

at the rate … of 16 measures of rice for 25 of salt — H.W.Hilman

c. : something used as a standard in measuring

the customary load of a donkey as a measure of weight

measures of time are commonly derived from some kind of human endurance — Notes & Queries on Anthropology

especially : a standard unit of length, area, or volume (as the foot, acre, cubic inch, quart)

exact weights and measures maintained by a governmental bureau of standards

d. : a system of standard units of measure — usually used with a qualifier indicating the class of the system

metric measure

the dimension or the kind of object or substance measured

long measure

board measure

or the locality where the system is used

British measure

3. : the act or process of measuring

settled by a measure made by a surveyor


a. : something having rhythmic sound or movement

extolled the jury system in stately Victorian measures — Saturday Review


(1) : melody , tune

a strong, clean wind which rushed in a droning measure through the broom sedge — Ellen Glasgow

(2) : a round or turn of dancing : dance

(3) : a slow and stately dance

b. : rhythmic structure : measured pattern of movement : beat , cadence

a finer language, style, and measure than the Greek which it translates — Times Literary Supplement


(1) : poetic rhythm measured by temporal quantity or accent ; specifically : meter

(2) : musical time

c. : a division or unit (as of time or stress) in a rhythmic sequence: as

(1) : a grouping of musical beats made by the regular recurrence of primary accents and located on the staff immediately following a vertical bar — called also bar

(2) : a division of a rhythmic structure (as a poem) in terms of a quantitative relation (as temporal balance)

d. : quantitative relation (as of identity, equivalence, correspondence, or balance) among elements or parts in a rhythmic structure ; especially : temporal relation or balance


[translation of Greek metron ]

a. : an exact division of a quantity

6 being the greatest common measure of 42 and 12

b. : a basis of comparison : denominator

no common measure between the masses of Soviet industrial hands … and our own working people — E.D.Laborde



(1) : a standard by which something intangible is determined or regulated : criterion

the measure should not be what others are doing but what is right for the individual child — Dorothy Barclay

(2) : a directly observable quantity from which the value of another related quantity may be obtained

the measure of an angle is the subtended arc

the measure of a quantity of electricity is the mass of silver deposited by it in electrolysis

b. : a means of measuring or indicating something that cannot be directly measured, observed, or represented : test

scored low in a measure of emotional adjustment

: indication , index , yardstick

the tastiness … of such foods became a measure of the efficiency and thrift of the family — Carol Aronovici

7. measures plural : strata of a mineral (as coal)

8. : an action planned or taken toward the accomplishment of a purpose : means to an end

wore steel helmets as a safety measure

apply measures to prevent the spread of infection

: step

took strong measures against the rebels

specifically : a proposed legislative act : bill

sponsored an anti-inflation measure in the senate

- beyond measure

- for good measure

- in a measure

II. verb

( measured ; measured ; measuring -zh(ə)riŋ ; measures )

Etymology: Middle English mesuren, from Old French mesurer, from Late Latin mensurare, from Latin mensura measure — more at measure I

transitive verb


a. : to choose or control (as one's words or acts) with cautious restraint : regulate , weigh

measure his acts and words with an iron will — H.E.Scudder

b. : to regulate or adjust by a rule or standard : govern

the demand for the commodity measuring the amount produced

measure our efforts not by what we feel like doing but by what the situation demands


a. : to allot or distribute as if by measure : deal out : mete — often used with out

laws that … measure out their rewards and punishments with calm indifference — P.E.More

b. : to apportion in measured amounts ; also : to separate (as from a stock) or add (as to a mixture) by measure — often used with off or out

measure out the ingredients carefully

measure off three cups of flour

and sometimes with in

measure in the vinegar last


a. : to lay off, mark, or fix (a specified distance or extent) by making measurements

measure three-foot intervals between the plantings

measure off a half-acre plot for a house lot

b. : to lay off, mark, or fix the exact dimensions or plan of by making measurements

measure out the lines for the foundations

measure the course for the 200-meter race

measure off the trunk into logs of 6, 12, or 18 feet


a. : to ascertain the quantity, mass, extent, or degree of in terms of a standard unit or fixed amount usually by means of an instrument or container marked off in the units : measure the dimensions of : take the measurements of

measure the depth, height, and width of the cabinet

measure the snowfall

measure the speed of the car

measure the luminosity of a star

measure the temperature of the oven

b. : to compute the size of (an area, object) from dimensional measurements

measure the surface area

5. : to judge or estimate the extent, strength, worth, or character of (as a quality, action, or person)

measure intelligence

measure the gravity of the crisis

measure the value of the counseling program

measured his opponent before announcing his candidacy

measure success by salary

specifically : to appraise in comparison with something taken as a criterion — often used with against

measure himself not against adults but against age-mates — Margaret Mead

6. archaic : to travel over : traverse

the public mind had now measured back again the space over which it had passed between 1640 and 1660 — T.B.Macaulay

7. : to be a means (as an instrument or standard) of measuring : serve as the measure of : indicate

the piles of sun-bleached linen that measured the housewife's pride — Ruth Davidson

the atomic number … measures both the number of protons and of electrons — James Jeans

8. : to bring into competition or contest

measure his skill with his rival's in a duel

9. : to look (a person) up and down : view appraisingly

his eyes measured me for the first time — Christopher Isherwood

intransitive verb

1. : to take or make a measurement : measure something

the shepherd measures from the time the ewes lambed — Lewis Mumford

2. : to have a specified measurement or measurements

the cloth measures two yards

the bedroom measures 10 feet by 12

3. : to be comparable

a success that measures with their aims

4. : to admit of being measured

measures more easily if spread on a table

- measure one's length

- measure swords

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.