/lengkth, length, lenth/ , n.
1. the longest extent of anything as measured from end to end: the length of a river.
2. the measure of the greatest dimension of a plane or solid figure.
3. extent from beginning to end of a series, enumeration, account, book, etc.: a report running 300 pages in length.
4. extent in time; duration: the length of a battle.
5. a distance determined by the extent of something specified: Hold the picture at arm's length.
6. a piece or portion of a certain or a known extent: a length of rope.
7. the quality or state of being long rather than short: a journey remarkable for its length.
8. the extent to which a person might or would go in pursuing something: He went to great lengths to get what he wanted.
9. a large extent or expanse of something.
10. the measure from end to end of a horse, boat, etc., as a unit of distance in racing: The horse won by two lengths.
11. Clothing. the extent of a garment related to a point it reaches, as on the wearer's body, the floor, or on a garment used as a standard of measurement (usually used in combination): an ankle-length gown; a floor-length negligee; a three-quarter-length coat.
12. Pros. , Phonet.
a. (of a vowel or syllable) quantity, whether long or short.
b. the quality of vowels.
13. Bridge. the possession of four or more than four cards in a given suit.
14. Theat. Archaic. 42 lines of an acting part.
15. at length ,
a. in or to the full extent; completely.
b. after a time; finally: At length there was a step forward in the negotiations.
16. go to any length or lengths , to disregard any impediment that could prevent one from accomplishing one's purpose: He would go to any lengths to get his own way.
17. keep at arm's length . See arm 1 (def. 16).
[ bef. 900; ME length ( e ), OE lengthu; c. D lengte, ON lengd. See LONG 1 , -TH 1 ]
Syn. 1. span, stretch, reach, scope, measure.