Meaning of measure

meas•ure

Pronunciation: (mezh'ur), [key]
— n., v., -ured, -ur•ing.
—n.
  1. a unit or standard of measurement: weights and measures.
  2. a system of measurement: liquid measure.
  3. an instrument, as a graduated rod or a container of standard capacity, for measuring.
  4. the extent, dimensions, quantity, etc., of something, ascertained esp. by comparison with a standard: to take the measure of a thing.
  5. the act or process of ascertaining the extent, dimensions, or quantity of something; measurement.
  6. a definite or known quantity measured out: to drink a measure of wine.
  7. any standard of comparison, estimation, or judgment.
  8. a quantity, degree, or proportion: in large measure.
  9. a moderate amount: to live with a measure of enjoyment.
  10. a limit, or an extent or degree not to be exceeded: to know no measure.
  11. reasonable bounds or limits: to know no measure.
  12. a legislative bill or enactment: The senate passed the new measure.
  13. Usually, measures. actions or procedures intended as a means to an end: to take measures to avert suspicion.
  14. a short rhythmical movement or arrangement, as in poetry or music.
  15. a particular kind of such arrangement.
  16. the music contained between two bar lines; bar.
  17. a metrical unit.
  18. an air or melody.
  19. a slow, dignified dance.
  20. the width, measured in ems or picas, to which a column or page of printed matter is set.
  21. beds; strata.
  22. an abstraction of the property of length; a set function assigning to each set of a collection of sets a value, usu. having the properties of sigma finiteness and fnite additivity, the functional value of the whole collection being greater than zero.
  23. too much to be reckoned; immeasurably; extremely: The suffering that they endured was beyond measure.
  24. as an extra: In addition to dessert, they served chocolates for good measure.
  25. to judge or assess someone's character, capabilities, etc.; size up: During their conversation she was taking his measure as a prospective employee.
  26. to some extent or degree: His conclusion is justified in some measure.
—v.t.
  1. to ascertain the extent, dimensions, quantity, capacity, etc., of, esp. by comparison with a standard: to measure boundaries.
  2. to mark off or deal out by way of measurement (often fol. by off or out&hasp;): to measure out two cups of flour.
  3. to estimate the relative amount, value, etc., of, by comparison with some standard: to measure the importance of an issue.
  4. to judge or appraise by comparison with something or someone else: to measure Corneille against Racine.
  5. to serve as the measure of: Her sacrifices measure the degree of her love.
  6. to adjust or proportion: to measure a portion to one's liking.
  7. to bring into comparison or competition: to measure one's strength with another's.
  8. to travel over; traverse: to measure a room with great strides.
—v.i.
  1. to take measurements.
  2. to admit of measurement.
  3. to be of a specified measure.
  4. to fall or be knocked down; fall flat: He missed a step in the dark and measured his length at the bottom.
  5. The producer of the poorly reviewed show decided to measure swords with the critics.
    1. to test one's preparedness for a contest or encounter.
    2. to battle with swords.
    3. to fight, compete, etc.:The producer of the poorly reviewed show decided to measure swords with the critics.
  6. As an administrator, he couldn't quite measure up.
    1. to reach a certain standard: The exhibition didn't measure up to last year's.
    2. to be capable or qualified:As an administrator, he couldn't quite measure up.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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