What does measure mean?

Definitions for measure
ˈmɛʒ ərmea·sure

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word measure.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. measure, stepnoun

    any maneuver made as part of progress toward a goal

    "the situation called for strong measures"; "the police took steps to reduce crime"

  2. measure, quantity, amountnoun

    how much there is or how many there are of something that you can quantify

  3. bill, measurenoun

    a statute in draft before it becomes law

    "they held a public hearing on the bill"

  4. measurement, measuring, measure, mensurationnoun

    the act or process of assigning numbers to phenomena according to a rule

    "the measurements were carefully done"; "his mental measurings proved remarkably accurate"

  5. standard, criterion, measure, touchstonenoun

    a basis for comparison; a reference point against which other things can be evaluated

    "the schools comply with federal standards"; "they set the measure for all subsequent work"

  6. meter, metre, measure, beat, cadencenoun

    (prosody) the accent in a metrical foot of verse

  7. measure, barnoun

    musical notation for a repeating pattern of musical beats

    "the orchestra omitted the last twelve bars of the song"

  8. measuring stick, measure, measuring rodnoun

    measuring instrument having a sequence of marks at regular intervals; used as a reference in making measurements

  9. measureverb

    a container of some standard capacity that is used to obtain fixed amounts of a substance

  10. measure, mensurate, measure outverb

    determine the measurements of something or somebody, take measurements of

    "Measure the length of the wall"

  11. quantify, measureverb

    express as a number or measure or quantity

    "Can you quantify your results?"

  12. measureverb

    have certain dimensions

    "This table surfaces measures 20inches by 36 inches"

  13. measure, evaluate, valuate, assess, appraise, valueverb

    evaluate or estimate the nature, quality, ability, extent, or significance of

    "I will have the family jewels appraised by a professional"; "access all the factors when taking a risk"


  1. measurenoun

    (Arith.) A number which is contained in a given number a number of times without a remainder; as in the phrases, the common measure, the greatest common measure, etc., of two or more numbers; a denominator. See common denominator under denominator.


  1. measurenoun

    The quantity, size, weight, distance or capacity of a substance compared to a designated standard.

  2. measurenoun

    An (unspecified) quantity or capacity :

    a measure of salt

  3. measurenoun

    The precise designated distance between two objects or points.

  4. measurenoun

    The act of measuring.

  5. measurenoun

    A musical designation consisting of all notes and or rests delineated by two vertical bars; an equal and regular division of the whole of a composition.

  6. measurenoun

    A rule, ruler or measuring stick.

  7. measurenoun

    A tactic, strategy or piece of legislation.

    He took drastic measures to halt inflation.

  8. measurenoun

    A function that assigns a non-negative number to a given set following the mathematical nature that is common among length, volume, probability and the like.

  9. measurenoun

    An indicator; Something used to assess some property.

  10. measureverb

    To ascertain the quantity of a unit of material via calculated comparison with respect to a standard.

  11. measureverb

    To estimate the unit size of something.

    I measure that at 10 centimetres.

  12. measureverb

    To obtain or set apart; to mark in even increments.

  13. measureverb

    To traverse, cross, pass along; to travel over.

  14. Etymology: mesure, from mesure, from mensura, from mensus, past participle of metiri. Displaced native mete (n.) (from met, compare mitta), ameten, imeten (from āmetan, ġemetan "to mete, measure), hof (from hof), mæþ.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. MEASUREnoun

    Etymology: mesure, French; mensura, Latin.

    A taylor’s news,
    Who stood with shears and measure in his hand,
    Standing on slippers, which his nimble haste
    Had falsely thrust upon contrary feet,
    Told of many a thousand. William Shakespeare, King John.

    A concave measure, of known and denominated capacity, serves to measure the capaciousness of any other vessel. William Holder.

    All magnitudes are capable of being measured; but it is the application of one to another which makes actual measures. William Holder, on Time.

    When Moses speaks of measures, for example, of an ephah, he presumes they knew what measure he meant: that he himself was skilled in weights and measures, arithmetick and geometry, there is no reason to doubt. John Arbuthnot, on Coins.

    God’s goodness is the measure of his providence. More.

    I expect, from those that judge by first sight and rash measures, to be thought fond or insolent. Joseph Glanvill, Scep.

    Measure is that which perfecteth all things, because every thing is for some end; neither can that thing be available to any end, which is not proportionable thereunto; and to proportion as well excesses as defects are opposite. Richard Hooker.

    I enter not into the particulars of the law of nature, or its measures of punishment; yet it is certain there is such a law. John Locke.

    Be large in mirth, anon we’ll drink a measure
    The table round. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    I’ll never pause again,
    Till either death hath clos’d these eyes of mine,
    Or fortune given me measure of revenge. William Shakespeare.

    Good Kent, how shall I live aud work
    To match thy goodness? life will be too short,
    And ev’ry measure fail me. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    We will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. 2 Cor. x. 13.

    If else thou seek’st
    Ought, not surpassing human measure, say. John Milton.

    Our religion sets before us not the example of a stupid stoick, who had, by obstinate principles, hardened himself against all pain beyond the common measures of humanity, but an example of a man like ourselves. John Tillotson, Sermons.

    I have laid down, in some measure, the description of the old world. George Abbot, Description of the World.

    There is a great measure of discretion to be used in the performance of confession, so that you neither omit it when your own heart may tell you that there is something amiss, nor over-scrupulously pursue it when you are not conscious to yourself of notable failings. Jeremy Taylor, Guide to a Penitent.

    The rains were but preparatory in some measure, and the violence and consummation of the deluge depended upon the disruption of the great abyss. Thomas Burnet, Theory of the Earth.

    Amaryllis breathes thy secret pains,
    And thy fond heart beats measure to thy strains. Matthew Prior.

    My legs can keep no measure in delight,
    When my poor heart no measure keeps in grief:
    Therefore no dancing, girl, some other sport. William Shakespeare.

    As when the stars in their æthereal race,
    At length have roll’d around the liquid space,
    From the same point of heav’n their course advance,
    And move in measures of their former dance. Dryden.

    Wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a Scotch jig, a measure and a cinque pace; the first suit is hot and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical; the wedding mannerly, modest as a measure, full of state and anchentry. William Shakespeare.

    Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths,
    Our stern alarms chang’d to merry meetings,
    Our dreadful marches to delightful measures. William Shakespeare.

    O love, be moderate, allay thy ecstasy;
    In measure rein thy joy, scant this excess;
    I feel too much thy blessing, make it less,
    For fear I surfeit. William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.

    Hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure. Isa. vi. 14.

    He only lived according to nature, the other by ill customs, and measures taken by other mens eyes and tongues. Jeremy Taylor, holy living.

    Christ reveals to us the measures according to which God will proceed in dispensing his rewards. George Smalridge, Sermons.

    I addressed them to a lady, and affected the softness of expression, and the smoothness of measure, rather than the height of thought. Dryden.

    The numbers themselves, though of the heroick measure, should be the smoothest imaginable. Alexander Pope.

    The joyous nymphs and light-foot fairies,
    Which thither came to hear their musick sweet,
    And to the measures of their melodies
    Did learn to move their nimble-shifting feet. Edmund Spenser.

    His majesty found what wrong measures he had taken in the conferring that trust, and lamented his error. Edward Hyde.

  2. To Measureverb

    Etymology: mesurer, French; mensuro, Latin.

    Archidamus having received from Philip, after the victory of Cheronea, proud letters, writ back, that if he measured his own shadow he would find it no longer than it was before his victory. Francis Bacon, Apophth.

    A true devoted pilgrim is not weary
    To measure kingdoms with his feeble steps. William Shakespeare.

    I’ll tell thee all my whole device
    At the park-gate; and therefore haste away,
    For we must measure twenty miles to-day. William Shakespeare.

    The vessel ploughs the sea,
    And measures back with speed her former way. Dryden.

    Great are thy works, Jehovah; infinite
    Thy pow’r! What thought can measure thee, or tongue
    Relate thee? John Milton, Par. Lost, b. vii.

    To secure a contented spirit, measure your desires by your fortunes, not your fortunes by your desires. Taylor.

    Silver is the instrument as well as measure of commerce; and ’tis by the quantity of silver he gets for any commodity in exchange that he measures the value of the commodity he sells. John Locke.

    What thou seest is that portion of eternity which is called time, measured out by the sun, and reaching from the beginning of the world to its consummation. Joseph Addison, Spectator.

    With what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again. Matth. vii. 2.


  1. measure

    Measure generally refers to the process of quantifying or assessing a particular attribute, characteristic, quality, or quantity. This might involve assessing the size, length, volume, scope, impact, or degree of something. It is often associated with statistical, mathematical, scientific, or social science analysis. The object of measurement can vary widely, from physical objects to abstract concepts. Consequently, the methodology, units, and tools used in the measurement can also differ greatly.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Measurenoun

    a standard of dimension; a fixed unit of quantity or extent; an extent or quantity in the fractions or multiples of which anything is estimated and stated; hence, a rule by which anything is adjusted or judged

  2. Measurenoun

    an instrument by means of which size or quantity is measured, as a graduated line, rod, vessel, or the like

  3. Measurenoun

    the dimensions or capacity of anything, reckoned according to some standard; size or extent, determined and stated; estimated extent; as, to take one's measure for a coat

  4. Measurenoun

    the contents of a vessel by which quantity is measured; a quantity determined by a standard; a stated or limited quantity or amount

  5. Measurenoun

    extent or degree not excessive or beyong bounds; moderation; due restraint; esp. in the phrases, in measure; with measure; without or beyond measure

  6. Measurenoun

    determined extent, not to be exceeded; limit; allotted share, as of action, influence, ability, or the like; due proportion

  7. Measurenoun

    the quantity determined by measuring, especially in buying and selling; as, to give good or full measure

  8. Measurenoun

    undefined quantity; extent; degree

  9. Measurenoun

    regulated division of movement

  10. Measurenoun

    a regulated movement corresponding to the time in which the accompanying music is performed; but, especially, a slow and stately dance, like the minuet

  11. Measurenoun

    the group or grouping of beats, caused by the regular recurrence of accented beats

  12. Measurenoun

    the space between two bars

  13. Measureadjective

    the manner of ordering and combining the quantities, or long and short syllables; meter; rhythm; hence, a foot; as, a poem in iambic measure

  14. Measureadjective

    a number which is contained in a given number a number of times without a remainder; as in the phrases, the common measure, the greatest common measure, etc., of two or more numbers

  15. Measureadjective

    a step or definite part of a progressive course or policy; a means to an end; an act designed for the accomplishment of an object; as, political measures; prudent measures; an inefficient measure

  16. Measureadjective

    the act of measuring; measurement

  17. Measureadjective

    beds or strata; as, coal measures; lead measures

  18. Measurenoun

    to ascertain by use of a measuring instrument; to compute or ascertain the extent, quantity, dimensions, or capacity of, by a certain rule or standard; to take the dimensions of; hence, to estimate; to judge of; to value; to appraise

  19. Measurenoun

    to serve as the measure of; as, the thermometer measures changes of temperature

  20. Measurenoun

    to pass throught or over in journeying, as if laying off and determining the distance

  21. Measurenoun

    to adjust by a rule or standard

  22. Measurenoun

    to allot or distribute by measure; to set off or apart by measure; -- often with out or off

  23. Measureverb

    to make a measurement or measurements

  24. Measureverb

    to result, or turn out, on measuring; as, the grain measures well; the pieces measure unequally

  25. Measureverb

    to be of a certain size or quantity, or to have a certain length, breadth, or thickness, or a certain capacity according to a standard measure; as, cloth measures three fourths of a yard; a tree measures three feet in diameter

  26. Etymology: [OE. mesure, F. mesure, L. mensura, fr. metiri, mensus, to measure; akin to metrum poetical measure, Gr. me`tron, E. meter. Cf. Immense, Mensuration, Mete to measure.]


  1. Measure

    In mathematical analysis, a measure on a set is a systematic way to assign a number to each suitable subset of that set, intuitively interpreted as its size. In this sense, a measure is a generalization of the concepts of length, area, and volume. A particularly important example is the Lebesgue measure on a Euclidean space, which assigns the conventional length, area, and volume of Euclidean geometry to suitable subsets of the -dimensional Euclidean space . For instance, the Lebesgue measure of the interval in the real numbers is its length in the everyday sense of the word – specifically, 1. Technically, a measure is a function that assigns a non-negative real number or +∞ to subsets of a set . It must assign 0 to the empty set and be additive: the measure of a 'large' subset that can be decomposed into a finite number of 'smaller' disjoint subsets, is the sum of the measures of the "smaller" subsets. In general, if one wants to associate a consistent size to each subset of a given set while satisfying the other axioms of a measure, one only finds trivial examples like the counting measure. This problem was resolved by defining measure only on a sub-collection of all subsets; the so-called measurable subsets, which are required to form a -algebra. This means that countable unions, countable intersections and complements of measurable subsets are measurable. Non-measurable sets in a Euclidean space, on which the Lebesgue measure cannot be defined consistently, are necessarily complicated in the sense of being badly mixed up with their complement. Indeed, their existence is a non-trivial consequence of the axiom of choice.thth

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Measure

    mezh′ūr, n. that by which extent is ascertained or expressed: the size of anything: a rule or standard by which anything is adjusted (Apothecaries', Cubic, Decimal, Dry, Liquid, &c.): (politics) a proposal or plan by which some end can be brought about: proportion: a stated quantity: degree: extent: moderation: means to an end: metre: (mus.) that division of time, containing a specified number of beats, by which the air and motion of music are regulated: rate of movement, time, rhythm, metre, arrangement of syllables in poetry: a slow and stately dance, as the minuet: (print.) the width of a page or column, usually in ems: (pl., geol.) a series of beds or strata.—v.t. to ascertain the dimensions of: to adjust by a rule or standard: to mark out: to allot: to show a certain measurement.—v.i. to be of a certain size: to be equal or uniform.—adj. Meas′urable, that may be measured or computed: moderate: in small quantity or extent.—n. Meas′urableness, the quality of being measurable.—adv. Meas′urably.—adjs. Meas′ured, of a certain measure: equal: uniform: steady: restricted; Meas′ureless, boundless: immense.—ns. Meas′urement, the act of measuring: quantity found by measuring—(Measurement goods, light goods carried for charges according to bulk, not weight); Meas′urer, one who, or that which, measures.—adj. Meas′uring, that measures, or fitted for measuring.—Measure one's length, to fall or be thrown down at full length; Measure strength, to engage in a contest; Measure swords, to fight with swords: to try one's skill against.—Above, or Beyond, measure, to an exceedingly great degree; In a measure, to some degree.—Take measures, to adopt means (to gain an end); Take one's measure, to find out what one is, and what he can or cannot do; Tread a measure, to dance; Use hard measures, to apply harsh treatment to; Within measure, moderately; Without measure, immoderately. [O. Fr. mesure—L. mensura, a measure—metīri, to measure.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. measure

    A comprehensive term including length, surface, time, weight, solidity, capacity, and force of gravity.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. measure

    To compute or ascertain the extent, quantity, dimensions, or capacity of, by a certain rule or standard.

Editors Contribution

  1. measure

    A process to review for progress.

    They did measure the effect they were having on each other and agreed it was a kind and effective one.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 2, 2020  

  2. measure

    To express as a number or quantity.

    He did measure up for the curtains to ensure they were up on the rail before the wedding.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 26, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. measure

    Song lyrics by measure -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by measure on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'measure' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2204

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'measure' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2682

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'measure' in Nouns Frequency: #394

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'measure' in Verbs Frequency: #315

How to pronounce measure?

How to say measure in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of measure in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of measure in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of measure in a Sentence

  1. Nobuhiko Kuramochi:

    China's imports, which measure domestic demand, are especially closely watched.

  2. Ayodele Odusola:

    If you go to any West African border town you can see that the crossings are buzzing with economic activity, but it's very hard to measure how much, this is a conservative estimate from official figures.

  3. Scott Gottlieb:

    That was the old measure. In the age of Omicron, with a much more contagious variant and with the fact that the population has a lot of immunity, so we're less susceptible overall, we may need to rethink that.

  4. Gavin Newsom:

    The state already requires that students are vaccinated against viruses that cause measles, mumps and rubella – there’s no reason why we wouldn’t do the same for COVID-19, today’s measure, just like our first-in-the-nation school masking and staff vaccination requirements, is about protecting our children and school staff, and keeping them in the classroom.

  5. President Vladimir Putin:

    As for such a measure as raising export customs duties, yes, it is one of the solutions, and it is also being studied now, but according to the estimates by the agriculture ministry and the industry ministry, it may not lead to the desired result.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for measure

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • ашəараAbkhaz
  • قاس, قياسArabic
  • үлсәү, сараBashkir
  • паме́раць, ме́рацьBelarusian
  • mesura, mesurar, amidarCatalan, Valencian
  • míra, takt, opatření, měřitCzech
  • Maß, Messung, Maßnahme, messen, abmessenGerman
  • μέτρο, μετρώGreek
  • mezuriEsperanto
  • medición, medida, regla, compás, medirSpanish
  • mõõtmine, mõõde, meedeEstonian
  • خطکش, سنجش, اندازه‌گیری, اندازه گیریPersian
  • tahti, mittari, etäisyys, mitta, toimenpide, määrä, mittaus, mittatikku, mitataFinnish
  • mesure, mesures, mesurerFrench
  • tomhas, tomhaisScottish Gaelic
  • medida, medirGalician
  • מד, מדד, סרגל, מידהHebrew
  • मापHindi
  • mértéket veszHungarian
  • չափելArmenian
  • ukurIndonesian
  • misurazione, regolo, misura, righello, funzione di misura, misurareItalian
  • 小節, 措置, 計る, 測る, 量るJapanese
  • 치수를 재다, 재다Korean
  • پێواندنKurdish
  • metimurLatin
  • mērs, mērīšanaLatvian
  • refyMalagasy
  • mēhua, rūri, ine, tātai, whātauMāori
  • ukurMalay
  • måleNorwegian
  • afstand, regel, maatregel, maat, hoeveelheid, lat, lineaal, maatstaf, meten, meetlat, schatten, afmetenDutch
  • måle, mæleNorwegian Nynorsk
  • målNorwegian
  • pagèla, mesurar, pagelarOccitan
  • pomiar, miara, środek, mierzyć, zmierzyćPolish
  • indicador, medida, medidor, medição, compasso, providência, medir, a medidaPortuguese
  • masira, imsüra, mesira, masüra, maseira, mesirar, masürar, masirar, imsürer, misirarRomansh
  • măsură, linie, riglă, distanță, tact, măsurareRomanian
  • ме́ра, измере́ние, такт, заме́р, измеря́ть, обмеря́ть, обме́рить, изме́рить, ме́рить, измерениеRussian
  • medida, mesura, misura, metire, mediri, medireSardinian
  • meraSerbo-Croatian
  • mått, avstånd, mätning, takt, mäta, mäta uppSwedish
  • วัดThai
  • ölçmekTurkish
  • muzeure, muzurerWalloon

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    the verbal act of urging on
    • A. rung
    • B. instigation
    • C. allogamy
    • D. collation

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