Meas"ure (mĕzh"?r; 135), n.
[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. 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. An instrument by means of which size or
quantity is measured, as a graduated line, rod, vessel, or the
False ells and measures be brought all clean
adown. R. of Gloucester.
3. 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
The measure thereof is longer than the earth,
and broader than the sea. Job xi. 9.
4. The contents of a vessel by which quantity
is measured; a quantity determined by a standard; a stated or limited
quantity or amount.
It is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three
measures of meal. Luke xiii. 21.
5. Extent or degree not excessive or beyong
bounds; moderation; due restraint; esp. in the phrases, in
measure; with measure; without or beyond
Hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth
without measure. Is. v. 14.
6. Determined extent, not to be exceeded;
limit; allotted share, as of action, influence, ability, or the like;
Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure
of my days. Ps. xxxix. 4.
7. The quantity determined by measuring,
especially in buying and selling; as, to give good or full
8. Undefined quantity; extent;
There is a great measure of discretion to be
used in the performance of confession. Jer.
9. Regulated division of movement:
(a) (Dancing) A regulated movement
corresponding to the time in which the accompanying music is
performed; but, especially, a slow and stately dance, like the
minuet. (b) (Mus.) (1) The group or
grouping of beats, caused by the regular recurrence of accented
beats. (2) The space between two bars. See
Beat, Triple, Quadruple, Sextuple,
Compound time, under Compound, a.,
and Figure. (c) (Poetry) The
manner of ordering and combining the quantities, or long and short
syllables; meter; rhythm; hence, a foot; as, a poem in iambic
10. (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.
11. 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.
His majesty found what wrong measures he had
taken in the conferring that trust, and lamented his
12. The act of measuring; measurement.
13. pl. (Geol.) Beds or strata;
as, coal measures; lead measures.
Lineal, or Long,
measure, measure of length; the measure of
lines or distances. -- Liquid measure, the
measure of liquids. -- Square measure, the
measure of superficial area of surfaces in square units, as inches,
feet, miles, etc. -- To have hard measure,
to have harsh treatment meted out to one; to be harshly or
oppressively dealt with. -- To take measures,
to make preparations; to provide means. -- To take
one's measure, to measure one, as for a garment; hence,
to form an opinion of one's disposition, character, ability,
etc. -- To tread a measure, to dance in
the style so called. See 9 (a).
Say to her, we have measured many miles
To tread a measure with her on this grass.
Meas"ure, v. t. [imp. & p.
p. Measured (?); p. pr. & vb. n.
Measuring.] [F. mesurer, L. mensurare. See
Measure, n.] 1. 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.
Great are thy works, Jehovah, infinite
Thy power! what thought can measure thee?
2. To serve as the measure of; as, the
thermometer measures changes of temperature.
3. To pass throught or over in journeying, as
if laying off and determining the distance.
A true devoted pilgrim is not weary
To measure kingdoms with his feeble steps.
4. To adjust by a rule or standard.
To secure a contented spirit, measure your
desires by your fortunes, not your fortunes by your
desires. Jer. Taylor.
5. To allot or distribute by measure; to set
off or apart by measure; -- often with out or
With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured
to you again. Matt. vii. 2.
That portion of eternity which is called time,
measured out by the sun. Addison.
To measure swords with one, to try another's
skill in the use of the sword; hence, figuratively, to match one's
abilities against an antagonist's.