Gauge (?), v. t. [imp. & p.
p. Gauged (?); p. pr. & vb. n.
Gauging (?)] [OF. gaugier, F. jauger, cf. OF.
gauge gauge, measuring rod, F. jauge; of uncertain
origin; perh. fr. an assumed L. qualificare to determine the
qualities of a thing (see Qualify); but cf. also F.
jalon a measuring stake in surveying, and E. gallon.]
[Written also gage.]
1. To measure or determine with a
2. To measure or to ascertain the contents or
the capacity of, as of a pipe, barrel, or keg.
3. (Mech.) To measure the dimensions
of, or to test the accuracy of the form of, as of a part of a
The vanes nicely gauged on each
4. To draw into equidistant gathers by
running a thread through it, as cloth or a garment.
5. To measure the capacity, character, or
ability of; to estimate; to judge of.
You shall not gauge me Shak.
By what we do to-night.
Gauge, n. [Written also gage.]
1. A measure; a standard of measure; an
instrument to determine dimensions, distance, or capacity; a
This plate must be a gauge to file your worm
and groove to equal breadth by. Moxon.
There is not in our hands any fixed gauge of
minds. I. Taylor.
2. Measure; dimensions; estimate.
The gauge and dimensions of misery, depression,
and contempt. Burke.
3. (Mach. & Manuf.) Any instrument for
ascertaining or regulating the dimensions or forms of things; a
templet or template; as, a button maker's gauge.
4. (Physics) Any instrument or
apparatus for measuring the state of a phenomenon, or for
ascertaining its numerical elements at any moment; -- usually applied
to some particular instrument; as, a rain gauge; a steam
5. (Naut.) (a)
Relative positions of two or more vessels with reference to the
wind; as, a vessel has the weather gauge of another when on
the windward side of it, and the lee gauge when on the lee
side of it. (b) The depth to which a
vessel sinks in the water. Totten.
6. The distance between the rails of a
☞ The standard gauge of railroads in most countries is
four feet, eight and one half inches. Wide, or broad,
gauge, in the United States, is six feet; in England, seven
feet, and generally any gauge exceeding standard gauge. Any gauge
less than standard gauge is now called narrow gauge. It varies
from two feet to three feet six inches.
7. (Plastering) The quantity of
plaster of Paris used with common plaster to accelerate its
8. (Building) That part of a shingle,
slate, or tile, which is exposed to the weather, when laid; also, one
course of such shingles, slates, or tiles.
Gauge of a carriage, car,
etc., the distance between the wheels; -- ordinarily called the
track. -- Gauge cock, a stop cock
used as a try cock for ascertaining the height of the water level in
a steam boiler. -- Gauge concussion
(Railroads), the jar caused by a car-wheel flange striking
the edge of the rail. -- Gauge glass, a
glass tube for a water gauge. -- Gauge lathe,
an automatic lathe for turning a round object having an irregular
profile, as a baluster or chair round, to a templet or gauge. --
Gauge point, the diameter of a cylinder whose
altitude is one inch, and contents equal to that of a unit of a given
measure; -- a term used in gauging casks, etc. -- Gauge
rod, a graduated rod, for measuring the capacity of
barrels, casks, etc. -- Gauge saw, a
handsaw, with a gauge to regulate the depth of cut.
Knight. -- Gauge stuff, a stiff and
compact plaster, used in making cornices, moldings, etc., by means of
a templet. -- Gauge wheel, a wheel at the
forward end of a plow beam, to determine the depth of the
furrow. -- Joiner's gauge, an instrument
used to strike a line parallel to the straight side of a board,
etc. -- Printer's gauge, an instrument to
regulate the length of the page. -- Rain
gauge, an instrument for measuring the quantity of rain
at any given place. -- Salt gauge, or
Brine gauge, an instrument or contrivance for
indicating the degree of saltness of water from its specific gravity,
as in the boilers of ocean steamers. -- Sea
gauge, an instrument for finding the depth of the
sea. -- Siphon gauge, a glass siphon tube,
partly filled with mercury, -- used to indicate pressure, as of
steam, or the degree of rarefaction produced in the receiver of an
air pump or other vacuum; a manometer. -- Sliding
gauge. (Mach.) (a) A templet or
pattern for gauging the commonly accepted dimensions or shape of
certain parts in general use, as screws, railway-car axles, etc.
(b) A gauge used only for testing other similar
gauges, and preserved as a reference, to detect wear of the working
gauges. (c) (Railroads) See Note
under Gauge, n., 5. -- Star
gauge (Ordnance), an instrument for measuring
the diameter of the bore of a cannon at any point of its length.
-- Steam gauge, an instrument for measuring the
pressure of steam, as in a boiler. -- Tide
gauge, an instrument for determining the height of the
tides. -- Vacuum gauge, a species of
barometer for determining the relative elasticities of the vapor in
the condenser of a steam engine and the air. -- Water
gauge. (a) A contrivance for indicating
the height of a water surface, as in a steam boiler; as by a gauge
cock or glass. (b) The height of the water
in the boiler. -- Wind gauge, an
instrument for measuring the force of the wind on any given surface;
an anemometer. -- Wire gauge, a gauge for
determining the diameter of wire or the thickness of sheet metal;
also, a standard of size. See under Wire.