in some measure


  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 especially 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.Compare meter2(def 1b).
  15. a particular kind of such arrangement.
  16. a metrical unit.
  17. Music.
    1. the music contained between two bar lines; bar.
    2. an air or melody.
    3. a slow, dignified dance.
  18. Printing. the width, measured in ems or picas, to which a column or page of printed matter is set.
  19. measures, Geology. beds; strata.
  20. Mathematics. an abstraction of the property of length; a set function assigning to each set of a collection of sets a value, usually having the properties of sigma finiteness and fnite additivity, the functional value of the whole collection being greater than zero.

verb (used with object), meas·ured, meas·ur·ing.

  1. to ascertain the extent, dimensions, quantity, capacity, etc., of, especially by comparison with a standard: to measure boundaries.
  2. to mark off or deal out by way of measurement (often followed by off or out): 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.

verb (used without object), meas·ured, meas·ur·ing.

  1. to take measurements.
  2. to admit of measurement.
  3. to be of a specified measure.

Verb Phrases

  1. 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.
  1. beyond measure, too much to be reckoned; immeasurably; extremely: The suffering that they endured was beyond measure.
  2. for good measure, as an extra: In addition to dessert, they served chocolates for good measure.
  3. have/take someone’s measure, to judge or assess someone’s character, capabilities, etc.; size up: During their conversation she was taking his measure as a prospective employee.
  4. in a/some measure, to some extent or degree: His conclusion is justified in some measure.
  5. measure one’s length, to fall or be knocked down; fall flat: He missed a step in the dark and measured his length at the bottom.
  6. measure swords,
    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.


  1. the extent, quantity, amount, or degree of something, as determined by measurement or calculation
  2. a device for measuring distance, volume, etc, such as a graduated scale or container
  3. a system of measurementgive the size in metric measure
  4. a standard used in a system of measurementsthe international prototype kilogram is the measure of mass in SI units
  5. a specific or standard amount of somethinga measure of grain; short measure; full measure
  6. a basis or standard for comparisonhis work was the measure of all subsequent attempts
  7. reasonable or permissible limit or boundswe must keep it within measure
  8. degree or extent (often in phrases such as in some measure, in a measure, etc)they gave him a measure of freedom
  9. (often plural) a particular action intended to achieve an effectthey took measures to prevent his leaving
  10. a legislative bill, act, or resolutionto bring in a measure
  11. music another word for bar 1 (def. 15a)
  12. prosody poetic rhythm or cadence; metre
  13. a metrical foot
  14. poetic a melody or tune
  15. the act of measuring; measurement
  16. archaic a dance
  17. printing the width of a page or column of type
  18. for good measure as an extra precaution or beyond requirements
  19. get the measure of someone or get someone’s measure to assess the nature, character, quality, etc, of someone
  20. made to measure (of clothes) made to fit an individual purchaser


  1. (tr often foll by up) to determine the size, amount, etc, of by measurement
  2. (intr) to make a measurement or measurements
  3. (tr) to estimate or determineI measured his strength to be greater than mine
  4. (tr) to function as a measurement ofthe ohm measures electrical resistance
  5. (tr) to bring into competition or conflicthe measured his strength against that of his opponent
  6. (intr) to be as specified in extent, amount, etcthe room measures six feet
  7. (tr) to travel or move over as if measuring
  8. (tr) to adjust or choosehe measured his approach to suit the character of his client
  9. (intr) to allow or yield to measurement

c.1300, “to deal out by measure,” from Old French mesurer “measure; moderate, curb” (12c.), from Late Latin mensurare “to measure,” from Latin mensura “a measuring, a measurement; thing to measure by,” from mensus, past participle of metiri “to measure,” from PIE *me- “to measure” (see meter (n.2)).

Replaced Old English cognate mæð “measure.” Meaning “to ascertain spatial dimensions of” is mid-14c. To measure up “have the necessary abilities” is 1910, American English. Related: Measured; measuring.


c.1200, “moderation, temperance, abstemiousness;” c.1300, “instrument for measuring,” from Old French mesure “limit, boundary; quantity, dimension; occasion, time” (12c.), from Latin mensura “measure” (see measure (v.)). Meaning “size or quantity as ascertained by measuring” is from early 14c. Meaning “action of measuring; standard measure of quantity; system of measuring; appointed or alloted amount of anything” is late 14c. Also from late 14c. are senses “proper proportion, balance.” Sense of “that to which something is compared to determine its quantity” is from 1570s. Meaning “rhythmic pattern in music” is late 14c.; from mid-15c. in poetry, c.1500 in dance. Meaning “treatment ‘meted out’ to someone” is from 1590s; that of “plan or course of action intended to obtain some goal” is from 1690s; sense of “legislative enactment” is from 1759. Phrase for good measure (late 14c.) is literally “ample in quantity, in goods sold by measure.”


  1. Dimensions, quantity, or capacity as ascertained by comparison with a standard.
  2. A reference standard or sample used for the quantitative comparison of properties.
  3. A unit specified by a scale, such as a degree, or by variable conditions, such as room temperature.
  4. A system of measurement, such as the metric system.
  5. A device used for measuring.
  6. The act of measuring.
  7. An evaluation or a basis of comparison.
  8. Extent or degree.
  9. A definite quantity that has been measured out.


  1. To ascertain the dimensions, quantity, or capacity of.
  2. To mark, lay out, or establish dimensions for by measuring.
  3. To bring into comparison.
  4. To mark off or apportion, usually with reference to a given unit of measurement.
  5. To serve as a measure of.

Somewhat, to a certain extent, as in In some measure we owe these privileges to our parents. Shakespeare used this term in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1:2): “I will condole in some measure.” Similarly, in large measure, dating from the same period, means “to a considerable extent,” as in In large measure the two sides agree. [c. 1600]

In addition to the idiom beginning with measure

  • measure up

also see:

  • beyond measure
  • for good measure
  • in some measure
  • made to measure
  • take someone’s measure
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