views updated May 29 2018

meas·ure / ˈmezhər/ • v. [tr.] 1. ascertain the size, amount, or degree of (something) by using an instrument or device marked in standard units or by comparing it with an object of known size: the amount of water collected is measured in pints they will measure up the room and install the cabinets. ∎  be of (a specified size or degree): the fabric measures 45 inches wide. ∎  ascertain the size and proportions of (someone) in order to make or provide clothes for them: he will be measured for his tuxedo next week. ∎  (measure something out) take an exact quantity or fixed amount of something: she helped to measure out the ingredients. ∎  estimate or assess the extent, quality, value, or effect of (something): it is hard to measure teaching ability. ∎  (measure someone/something against) judge someone or something by comparison with (a certain standard): she did not need to measure herself against some ideal. ∎  [intr.] (measure up) reach the required or expected standard; fulfill expectations: I'm afraid we didn't measure up to the standards they set. ∎  scrutinize (someone) keenly in order to form an assessment of them: the two shook hands and silently measured each other up.2. consider (one's words or actions) carefully: I had better measure my words so as not to embarrass anyone.3. archaic travel over (a certain distance or area): we must measure twenty miles today.• n. 1. a plan or course of action taken to achieve a particular purpose: cost-cutting measures children were evacuated as a precautionary measure. ∎  a legislative bill: the Senate passed the measure by a 48–30 vote. ∎ archaic punishment or retribution imposed or inflicted on someone: her husband had dealt out hard measure to her.2. a standard unit used to express the size, amount, or degree of something: a furlong is an obsolete measure of length tables of weights and measures. ∎  a system or scale of such units: the original dimensions were in imperial measure. ∎  a container of standard capacity used for taking fixed amounts of a substance. ∎  a particular amount of something: a measure of egg white as a binding agent. ∎  a standard official amount of an alcoholic drink as served in a licensed establishment. ∎  a graduated rod or tape used for ascertaining the size of something. ∎  Printing the width of a full line of type or print, typically expressed in picas. ∎  Math. a quantity contained in another an exact number of times; a divisor.3. a certain quantity or degree of something: the states retain a large measure of independence. ∎  an indication or means of assessing the degree, extent, or quality of something: it was a measure of the team's problems that they were still working after 2 a.m.4. the rhythm of a piece of poetry or a piece of music. ∎  a particular metrical unit or group: measures of two or three syllables are more frequent in English prose. ∎  a bar of music or the time of a piece of music. ∎ archaic a dance, typically one that is grave or stately: now tread we a measure!5. (measures) a group of rock strata.PHRASES: beyond measure to a very great extent: it irritates him beyond measure.for good measure in addition to what has already been done, said, or given: he added a couple of chili peppers for good measure.take (or get or have) the measure of assess or have assessed the character, nature, or abilities of (someone or something): he's got her measure—she won't fool —— measure to the degree specified: his rapid promotion was due in some measure to his friendship with the CEO.ORIGIN: Middle English (as a noun in the senses ‘moderation,’ ‘instrument for measuring,’ ‘unit of capacity’): from Old French mesure, from Latin mensura, from mens- ‘measured,’ from the verb metiri.


views updated May 18 2018

measure prescribed or limited extent; action, result, or means of measuring XIII; ‘measured’ or rhythmic sound or movement XIV. — (O)F. mesure :- L. mēnsūra, f. mēns-, pp. stem of mētīrī measure, f. IE. *mēt- (cf. Skr. mā́trá measure, Gr. mêtis prudence, OE. mæð measure, proportion, power, rank, respect), extension of *mē- measure (cf. MEAL2, METRE).
So measure vb. XIII. measurable †moderate XIII; that can be measured XVI. — (O)F. mesurable — late L. mēnsūrābilis MENSURABLE. measurement XVIII.


views updated May 08 2018

measure A lithostratigraphic term that (in the past) has been used both formally (e.g. Coal Measures, Culm Measures, see FORMAL) and informally (see INFORMAL) to denote a succession of coal-bearing strata.


views updated May 14 2018

1. Old Eng. term, now adopted in USA and reintroduced into Britain in 19th cent. by John Curwen, indicating time-content of notational space between one bar-line and the next, e.g. ‘2 beats in the bar’.

2. The bar-line itself. Note that the Eng. ‘bar’ is the same as Amer. ‘measure’; Amer. ‘bar’ means Eng. ‘bar-line’.

3. A stately Eng. dance of 15th and 16th cents. (‘trod a measure’ is a frequent phrase in Elizabethan drama).


views updated Jun 11 2018

measure hard measure archaic expression meaning, punishment or retribution inflicted on someone.
there is measure in all things proverbial saying, late 14th century, similar in meaning to moderation in all things. The Roman poet Horace (65–8 bc) has a similar thought, ‘there is measure in things.’

See also man is the measure of all things.


views updated May 09 2018

1. A quantity ascertained or ascertainable by measurement.

2. A number assigned to a property of an entity according to well-defined rules, so as to describe or represent that property objectively.

3. A number or other symbol assigned to a specific property by means of observation.