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a unit or standard of measurement:
weights and measures.
a system of measurement:
liquid measure.
an instrument, as a graduated rod or a container of standard capacity, for measuring.
the extent, dimensions, quantity, etc., of something, ascertained especially by comparison with a standard:
to take the measure of a thing.
the act or process of ascertaining the extent, dimensions, or quantity of something; measurement.
a definite or known quantity measured out:
to drink a measure of wine.
any standard of comparison, estimation, or judgment.
a quantity, degree, or proportion:
in large measure.
a moderate amount:
to live with a measure of enjoyment.
a limit, or an extent or degree not to be exceeded:
to know no measure.
reasonable bounds or limits:
to know no measure.
a legislative bill or enactment:
The senate passed the new measure.
Usually, measures. actions or procedures intended as a means to an end:
to take measures to avert suspicion.
a short rhythmical movement or arrangement, as in poetry or music.
Compare meter2 (def 1b).
a particular kind of such arrangement.
a metrical unit.

the music contained between two bar lines; bar.
an air or melody.
a slow, dignified dance.

Printing. the width, measured in ems or picas, to which a column or page of printed matter is set.
measures, Geology. beds; strata.
Mathematics. an abstraction of the property of length; a set function assigning to each set of a collection of sets a value, usually having the properties of sigma finiteness and fnite additivity, the functional value of the whole collection being greater than zero.
to ascertain the extent, dimensions, quantity, capacity, etc., of, especially by comparison with a standard:
to measure boundaries.
to mark off or deal out by way of measurement (often followed by off or out):
to measure out two cups of flour.
to estimate the relative amount, value, etc., of, by comparison with some standard:
to measure the importance of an issue.
to judge or appraise by comparison with something or someone else:
to measure Corneille against Racine.
to serve as the measure of:
Her sacrifices measure the degree of her love.
to adjust or proportion:
to measure a portion to one’s liking.
to bring into comparison or competition:
to measure one’s strength with another’s.
to travel over; traverse:
to measure a room with great strides.
to take measurements.
to admit of measurement.
to be of a specified measure.
measure up,

to reach a certain standard:
The exhibition didn’t measure up to last year’s.
to be capable or qualified:
As an administrator, he couldn’t quite measure up.

beyond measure, too much to be reckoned; immeasurably; extremely:
The suffering that they endured was beyond measure.
for good measure, as an extra:
In addition to dessert, they served chocolates for good measure.
have / take someone’s measure, to judge or assess someone’s character, capabilities, etc.; size up:
During their conversation she was taking his measure as a prospective employee.
in a / some measure, to some extent or degree:
His conclusion is justified in some measure.
measure one’s length, to fall or be knocked down; fall flat:
He missed a step in the dark and measured his length at the bottom.
measure swords,

to test one’s preparedness for a contest or encounter.
to battle with swords.
to fight, compete, etc.:
The producer of the poorly reviewed show decided to measure swords with the critics.

Contemporary Examples

Such a measure would be a radical, highly confrontational response to sanctions.
Controversial Poll: Do Iranians Really Support Nuclear Enrichment? Omid Memarian July 3, 2012

Dream:ON uses the phone’s accelerometers to measure movement through the night.
New Study Shows Dream App Helps People Craft Dreams and Wake Up Happier Mihir Patkar April 5, 2014

There are many ways to measure how screwed Republicans are after the last election.
Technology Gap John Avlon November 20, 2008

One measure: Take the question of publicly held debt as a percentage of GDP.
The Lies and Lunacy in Tim Pawlenty’s Economic Plan Michael Tomasky June 8, 2011

By the time a cab finally stopped, I had walked a mile or two, if I am to understand a city block to measure a tenth of a mile.
Writers on Their Difficult—And Not So Difficult—Break-Ups with New York City October 22, 2013

Historical Examples

Flora, in a measure, outgrew her bodily infirmities, but she was always an invalid.
Down The River Oliver Optic

Exactly in the measure that he indulged this would his pride smart.
The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson

measure the distance across the back from tip to tip of wings.
An Elementary Study of Insects Leonard Haseman

The life of a nation is the fullness of the measure of its will to live.
United States Presidents’ Inaugural Speeches Various

Anyone who has been seasick can in some measure appreciate our predicament.
Through the South Seas with Jack London Martin Johnson

the extent, quantity, amount, or degree of something, as determined by measurement or calculation
a device for measuring distance, volume, etc, such as a graduated scale or container
a system of measurement: give the size in metric measure
a standard used in a system of measurements: the international prototype kilogram is the measure of mass in SI units
a specific or standard amount of something: a measure of grain, short measure, full measure
a basis or standard for comparison: his work was the measure of all subsequent attempts
reasonable or permissible limit or bounds: we must keep it within measure
degree or extent (often in phrases such as in some measure, in a measure, etc): they gave him a measure of freedom
(often pl) a particular action intended to achieve an effect: they took measures to prevent his leaving
a legislative bill, act, or resolution: to bring in a measure
(music) another word for bar1 (sense 15a)
(prosody) poetic rhythm or cadence; metre
a metrical foot
(poetic) a melody or tune
the act of measuring; measurement
(archaic) a dance
(printing) the width of a page or column of type
for good measure, as an extra precaution or beyond requirements
get the measure of someone, get someone’s measure, to assess the nature, character, quality, etc, of someone
made to measure, (of clothes) made to fit an individual purchaser
(transitive) often foll by up. to determine the size, amount, etc, of by measurement
(intransitive) to make a measurement or measurements
(transitive) to estimate or determine: I measured his strength to be greater than mine
(transitive) to function as a measurement of: the ohm measures electrical resistance
(transitive) to bring into competition or conflict: he measured his strength against that of his opponent
(intransitive) to be as specified in extent, amount, etc: the room measures six feet
(transitive) to travel or move over as if measuring
(transitive) to adjust or choose: he measured his approach to suit the character of his client
(intransitive) to allow or yield to measurement

c.1300, “to deal out by measure,” from Old French mesurer “measure; moderate, curb” (12c.), from Late Latin mensurare “to measure,” from Latin mensura “a measuring, a measurement; thing to measure by,” from mensus, past participle of metiri “to measure,” from PIE *me- “to measure” (see meter (n.2)).

Replaced Old English cognate mæð “measure.” Meaning “to ascertain spatial dimensions of” is mid-14c. To measure up “have the necessary abilities” is 1910, American English. Related: Measured; measuring.

c.1200, “moderation, temperance, abstemiousness;” c.1300, “instrument for measuring,” from Old French mesure “limit, boundary; quantity, dimension; occasion, time” (12c.), from Latin mensura “measure” (see measure (v.)). Meaning “size or quantity as ascertained by measuring” is from early 14c. Meaning “action of measuring; standard measure of quantity; system of measuring; appointed or alloted amount of anything” is late 14c. Also from late 14c. are senses “proper proportion, balance.” Sense of “that to which something is compared to determine its quantity” is from 1570s. Meaning “rhythmic pattern in music” is late 14c.; from mid-15c. in poetry, c.1500 in dance. Meaning “treatment ‘meted out’ to someone” is from 1590s; that of “plan or course of action intended to obtain some goal” is from 1690s; sense of “legislative enactment” is from 1759. Phrase for good measure (late 14c.) is literally “ample in quantity, in goods sold by measure.”

measure meas·ure (mězh’ər)

Dimensions, quantity, or capacity as ascertained by comparison with a standard.

A reference standard or sample used for the quantitative comparison of properties.

A unit specified by a scale, such as a degree, or by variable conditions, such as room temperature.

A system of measurement, such as the metric system.

A device used for measuring.

The act of measuring.

An evaluation or a basis of comparison.

Extent or degree.

A definite quantity that has been measured out.

v. meas·ured, meas·ur·ing, meas·ures

To ascertain the dimensions, quantity, or capacity of.

To mark, lay out, or establish dimensions for by measuring.

To bring into comparison.

To mark off or apportion, usually with reference to a given unit of measurement.

To serve as a measure of.

To ascertain or appraise by comparing to a standard; to apply a metric.

Several words are so rendered in the Authorized Version. (1.) Those which are indefinite. (a) Hok, Isa. 5:14, elsewhere “statute.” (b) Mad, Job 11:9; Jer. 13:25, elsewhere “garment.” (c) Middah, the word most frequently thus translated, Ex. 26:2, 8, etc. (d) Mesurah, Lev. 19:35; 1 Chr. 23:29. (e) Mishpat, Jer. 30:11, elsewhere “judgment.” (f) Mithkoneth and token, Ezek. 45:11. (g) In New Testament metron, the usual Greek word thus rendered (Matt. 7:2; 23:32; Mark 4:24). (2.) Those which are definite. (a) ‘Eyphah, Deut. 25:14, 15, usually “ephah.” (b) Ammah, Jer. 51:13, usually “cubit.” (c) Kor, 1 Kings 4:22, elsewhere “cor;” Greek koros, Luke 16:7. (d) Seah, Gen. 18:6; 1 Sam. 25:18, a seah; Greek saton, Matt. 13:33; Luke 13:21. (e) Shalish, “a great measure,” Isa. 40:12; literally a third, i.e., of an ephah. (f) In New Testament batos, Luke 16:6, the Hebrew “bath;” and choinix, Rev. 6:6, the choenix, equal in dry commodities to one-eighth of a modius.

In addition to the idiom beginning with


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