Definition of measure in English:



  • 1Ascertain the size, amount, or degree of (something) by using an instrument or device marked in standard units.

    ‘the amount of water collected is measured in pints’
    ‘measuring instruments’
    • ‘Devices that measure the evaporation of water such as atmometers may be useful.’
    • ‘When the tank team fed the fish they also measured the water temperature and counted the fish.’
    • ‘A nautical instrument used to measure the altitude of stars and planets in the sky in order to determine a ship's exact direction.’
    • ‘He's currently in our waters to measure whale numbers, and to audit the impact of man-made pollutants on marine creatures.’
    • ‘The movement of the pillar is measured in millimetres.’
    • ‘Plus, we provide the control and safety systems and instrumentation used to measure the oil flow.’
    • ‘Continue to pump out water until the pump turns off, and again measure the water level.’
    • ‘The wireless device measures a variety of parameters such as temperature, pulse, blood oxygen saturation and heart rate.’
    • ‘Using a standard method, they measured the hybrids' fermentation efficiency.’
    • ‘They can measure force - the amount of pressure being exerted.’
    • ‘The equipment is similar to the device for measuring earthquakes.’
    • ‘If a water meter isn't installed on the system, a short-term pumping plant test can be run using one of a variety of devices to measure the flow rate.’
    • ‘Geologists use centimeter-precision GPS devices to measure the movement of continental plates.’
    • ‘Either measure the amount in ounces or measure the depth of water in each jar.’
    • ‘For one test, a device called a reflectometer is used to measure the degree of whiteness in processed tuber samples destined to become chips.’
    • ‘Volatility is typically measured by the standard deviation of the return of an investment.’
    • ‘A rotary encoder is a digital input device used to measure angular rotation and direction.’
    • ‘The group's device allows researchers to measure the heat given off by these electrons, and devise ways to get around the problem, Blick says.’
    • ‘The units will also measure electromagnetic fields from other sources, such as radio and TV.’
    • ‘Now you've also been attaching devices to them that measure the depth to which they dive.’
    survey, quantify, take the measurements of, weigh, appraise, determine
    take the measurements of, calculate, compute, estimate, count, meter, quantify, weigh, size, evaluate, rate, assess, appraise, gauge, plumb, measure out, determine, judge, survey
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    1. 1.1Be of (a specified size or degree)
      ‘the fabric measures 137 cm wide’
      • ‘In October an earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale struck Japan's Niigata prefecture.’
      • ‘The suggested retail price of this year's poster, which measures 28 by 23 inches, is $30.’
      • ‘Sewn from a rich green vinyl, the outside sleeves each measured about 16 inches long.’
      • ‘Of the 21 works at Howard Scott, The Open Boat is the largest, measuring 45 by 69 inches.’
      • ‘An earthquake measuring 5.5 in magnitude rocked the region today.’
      • ‘That's no problem as the juicer measures a compact 15 inches high by ten inches wide, so it can fit easily into most kitchen cupboards or presses.’
      • ‘Last September, Taiwan suffered a massive earthquake which measured 7.3 on the Richter scale.’
      • ‘Madeira is the largest of the islands, measuring about 57 km wide and 22 km long.’
      • ‘The square measured approximately two inches from side to side.’
      • ‘The paper editions measure approximately 24 by 34 inches and the canvas editions measure 40 by 55 inches.’
      • ‘The posters, which measure 27 by 40 inches, will be on sale through March 15 for $25.’
      • ‘TVs measuring 3 or 4 inches thick are opening up placement opportunities hitherto unknown, including above fireplaces and in kitchens and game rooms.’
      • ‘The length of the dorsal wall of the medial claw is approximately 7.5 cm when measured from the apex to the coronary band.’
      • ‘The earthquake, measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale, hit the country on Saturday afternoon.’
      • ‘The rectangular slab is slightly curved, measuring 17 inches thick at the center and tapering to 10 inches on the sides.’
      • ‘The display is typically a computer screen with 480 pixels down and 640 pixels across, measuring approximately 0.7 inches on the diagonal.’
      • ‘The sculptures, measuring 17 to 31 inches tall, feature the romantic images of beautiful women and couples, which Hessam often depicts in his paintings.’
      • ‘It's much larger than the other two, measuring 78 by 48 inches.’
      • ‘It measures 7.75 inches wide by 4.25 inches high by 12.75 inches long and weighs about 4 pounds.’
      • ‘Last year's international survey of recent architecture measured 18 by 12 inches and took a trolley to move about the room.’
    2. 1.2Ascertain the size and proportions of (someone) in order to make or provide clothes for them.
      ‘he will be measured for his team blazer next week’
      • ‘A tailor was brought in to measure Willow for clothes.’
      • ‘Make sure that you're properly measured by a qualified fitter at a reputable ski shop.’
      • ‘She turned to Colette and lifted her down from the bed and asked the modiste to measure her.’
      • ‘It fit her perfectly, as if David had measured her himself, but it wasn't what she was used too.’
      • ‘They measured me: arms and legs, waist and chest.’
      • ‘She tried not to shift as the plump woman measured her.’
      • ‘They were tailors, and they promptly began measuring her for clothes.’
      • ‘Elizabeth stepped off the stool and began looking around the small shop as Kathryn was measured.’
      • ‘Caderyn measured her, as one of the blacksmiths wrote the measurements and began to draw the sword.’
      • ‘I am going to measure you and then recommend a bra size.’
      • ‘When we got back, Jen showed me some simple stitches and measured me for a dress before the dance.’
      • ‘It raised its rotting hands, mentally measuring Ben to see what size clothes he was best suited for.’
      • ‘She measured me every which way: arms, back, height, shoulders, waist, hips, chest.’
      • ‘Sakura blushed as he measured her, his skin brushing against hers now and then.’
      • ‘We won't see any suit, just you being measured for a suit.’
      • ‘Mareen came in with two palace tailors to measure me for the wedding.’
      • ‘They had been being standing in Gayle's sitting room for nearly six hours, being continuously measured and pricked by pins and needles for clothes to be worn tomorrow.’
      • ‘‘My older daddy is gonna make it for me, just as soon as he measures me,’ Katie said proudly.’
      • ‘While Vandy measured him, Doriel began to tell one of the more tame war stories, but Malindila and Vandy both shook their heads.’
      • ‘He'd forgotten how maddening it was being measured for new clothes.’
    3. 1.3Take an exact quantity of something.
      ‘she helped to measure out the ingredients’
      • ‘While his mom measured out the ingredients, it became our job to stir; he would stir, and then hand it to me for my turn.’
      • ‘I don't measure them out in coffee spoons, you know.’
      • ‘However, compared to how much it costs to buy a small 1/2 lb block of chocolate normally, it turned out to be good value, and it keeps well if you store it in a cool dark place, not to mention the ease with which you can measure it out!’
      • ‘Mama took some time cutting the sugar-cake and I was certain it was because she was measuring it out, making sure everyone got the same sized piece.’
      pour out, dole out, deal out
      dispense, administer, issue
      mark off, mark the boundaries of, mark the limits of, measure out, demarcate, delimit, delineate, outline, describe, define, stake out
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  • 2Assess the importance, effect, or value of (something)

    ‘it is hard to measure teaching ability’
    • ‘It's very hard for me to measure the success of that.’
    • ‘Contemporary buildings have long lost their ability to accurately measure the urban significance of what they hold.’
    • ‘The amount of energy and intelligence and direction that the right CEO can bring to a corporation can be the single most determining factor in measuring the success of the company.’
    • ‘There is a growing interest in evaluating teachers by measuring student learning.’
    • ‘Companies need to take a broad prospective to measure the true value of their search engine marketing efforts.’
    • ‘One typically measures the quality of a published scholarly book by an important pedagogical yardstick.’
    • ‘The hard part in measuring a site's success is often determining what the goals of the site should be - what should you be looking for.’
    • ‘Many corporations are recognizing the importance of measuring a variety of factors, says Hoog.’
    choose carefully, select with care, consider, think carefully about, plan, calculate
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    1. 2.1Judge someone or something by comparison with (a certain standard)
      ‘she did not need to measure herself against some ideal’
      • ‘Instead, it uses an independent survey programme that measures its performance against the charter.’
      • ‘He set standards that all great bowlers are measured against.’
      • ‘Each person's abilities are measured against the job requirements and expected tasks.’
      • ‘In 50 years' time, will we still be measuring educational standards against O-levels?’
      • ‘As such, we've established baselines that we need to be constantly measuring our performance against.’
      • ‘For the first time ever, I realized that my mother measured my achievements against those of my sisters.’
      • ‘The guide also comprised several small tables measuring universities against a number of criteria.’
      • ‘Before I was able to find such a host, I had to measure each company against four stringent criteria.’
      • ‘Districts choose from commercially available standardized tests to measure students against national norms.’
      • ‘I encourage organizations to measure their financial performance against two-year plans.’
      compare with, contrast with, put into competition with
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    2. 2.2[no object]Reach the required or expected standard.
      ‘I'm afraid we didn't measure up to the standards they set’
      • ‘If it's not measuring up, what else needs to be done?’
      • ‘I wanted to conquer this fear of not measuring up, so I took a ton of classes.’
      • ‘The table below shows how the United States measures up to this simple standard of fairness.’
      • ‘It must be their tragic flaws that make them fail to measure up in our eyes.’
      • ‘Sadly, the rest of the film doesn't measure up to her impressive standards.’
      • ‘He didn't see how he could ever measure up to his father's standards.’
      • ‘Here we have a clear cut case of film trying to measure up to a literary work, or of an audience expecting to make such a comparison.’
      • ‘If the milk measures up to quality standards, it is hooked up to a receiving pump, passed through a filter and forwarded to one of six silos depending on its composition.’
      • ‘I had been making my first movie in my head for so long, I don't think anything would have measured up to my standards.’
      • ‘Many companies seem to have set too high a standard for their employees to measure up to.’
      come up to standard, achieve the required standard, fulfil expectations, fill the bill, fit the bill, pass muster, do well
      be capable, be acceptable, be satisfactory, be adequate, be suitable
      come up to scratch, make the grade, cut the mustard, be up to snuff
      achieve, meet, come up to, equal, be equal to, match, rival, vie with, bear comparison with, be on a level with, serve, satisfy, fulfil, comply with
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    3. 2.3Scrutinize someone in order to form an assessment of them.
      ‘the two shook hands and silently measured each other up’
      • ‘She glared at Ellee, measuring her up with her own angry eyes.’
      • ‘I have measured her up and she seems to be the only one I can think of who is worthy of you.’
      • ‘Alice looked up at me and measured me up in her vision.’
      • ‘He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye, measuring her up.’
      • ‘She frowned at him and measured him up with a glance.’
      • ‘I looked at the family more closely because I could tell that they were measuring me up.’
      • ‘Caleb looked at me for a second or two like he had measured me up and made his decision.’
      • ‘While I was measuring up my aunt, she was giving me the once over too.’
      • ‘Harry measured her up, wondering whether to say any more.’
      • ‘Narrowed brown eyes studied her, measuring her up.’
      evaluate, rate, assess, appraise, judge, adjudge, weigh up, size up, survey
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  • 3archaic Travel over (a certain distance or area)

    ‘we must measure twenty miles today’


  • 1A plan or course of action taken to achieve a particular purpose.

    ‘cost-cutting measures’
    ‘children were evacuated as a precautionary measure’
    • ‘Another measure planned will allow for cross-investments between sub-funds run by the same fund manager.’
    • ‘It must publish and implement clear, enforceable measures to achieve enhanced productivity from those that will still be employed by the state.’
    • ‘Control measures should be initiated as soon as possible, both to improve effectiveness and reduce total control costs.’
    • ‘Banks will also be asked to draw up measures to achieve gender equality, and agree a plan for achieving targets.’
    • ‘It said cost-cutting measures and cost control remain the focus for more than one-third of organisations in 2004.’
    • ‘The Green Party's new election manifesto contains a programme of realistic, mutually consistent and self-reinforcing measures to achieve localisation.’
    • ‘There are, however, control measures in operation which reduce this risk.’
    • ‘The Board was planning measures which would lead to the reduction of the illegal practice.’
    • ‘Some of these measures have been achieved, to an extent, but often outside the UN framework.’
    • ‘It added that these international players have started initiating cost-cutting measures to improve their cost-structure.’
    • ‘The company has already said it will take a restructuring charge this year due to cost-cutting measures in its operations.’
    • ‘The bad news is that more cost-cutting measures are likely.’
    • ‘‘Of course, we understand Dublin's desire to take precautionary measures,’ a British spokesman said.’
    • ‘But the remedial measures planned expose the government's failure to understand the realities that the country will face in the coming decades.’
    • ‘But the Court said that, while such an objective was legitimate, the measures used to achieve it went beyond what was necessary.’
    • ‘This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program by some unscrupulous elements.’
    • ‘Don't assume someone else will clean up after an accident, and take precautionary measures to prevent the next one.’
    • ‘Layoffs, streamlining operations, and other cost cutting measures are the norm these days as businesses contemplate their futures.’
    • ‘A company spokesman said no further cost-cutting measures were planned for its Irish operations.’
    • ‘Boston also contends that the plan does not offer measures to stimulate the economy.’
    action, act, course, course of action, deed, proceeding, procedure, step, means, expedient
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    1. 1.1A legislative bill.
      ‘the Senate passed the measure by a 48–30 vote’
      • ‘German chancellor Gerhard Schroder announced that his cabinet would soon pass measures to outlaw Islamic organisations deemed to have abused their religious status.’
      • ‘In 1997, the House passed a measure to abolish the agency, but the Senate restored its funding.’
      • ‘The new measures in the Pensions Bill requiring consultation on changes to future benefits will be welcome from an employee's perspective.’
      • ‘The measure passed in 2000 was to finish the job.’
      • ‘Many other counties, including Sonoma, Alameda, and Santa Barbara, are organizing to pass similar measures.’
      • ‘He signed the measure into law on May 9 of that year.’
      • ‘However, before becoming law the measure will have to go through several more stages and needs to be approved by EU ministers.’
      • ‘In an exclusive interview finance minister Charlie McCreevy discusses tax measures in the Finance Bill, tax amnesties, the bank levy and public spending.’
      • ‘Since 1997, the UK construction sector has seen the introduction of a raft of legislative measures and incentives.’
      • ‘Those backing the Bill say the new measures simply bring new communication technologies in line with regulations governing traditional telephony services.’
      • ‘Vetoes, threats of vetoes, and government shutdowns kept most anti-environmental measures from becoming law.’
      • ‘The European Council has passed the measure but the deadline for its adoption into the laws of EU member states is still 15 months away.’
      • ‘Critics of the measure worry that the bill will depress the price of US labour in the tech sector.’
      • ‘All of these legislative measures made it much easier for labor unions to accomplish their goals.’
      • ‘The bill extends measures aimed at individuals and to lesser extent corporations.’
      • ‘In a bold response, Congressional leaders added a measure to the energy bill raising fuel economy by one mile per gallon.’
      • ‘In this tidal wave of deregulatory measures, the anti-discrimination legislation escaped almost unscathed.’
      • ‘Protestors said that the measures in the bill are similar to those recently introduced in China.’
      • ‘Yet the odds are against the measure as legislated policy.’
      • ‘Already, more than two dozen states have passed measures against garbage mail.’
      statute, act, bill, law, legislation
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  • 2A 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’
    • ‘Most confusing are the measures of kilos, hectares, kilometers, centimeters, and grams.’
    • ‘Invariable uniformity of value in the currency, has a relation to the interests of the people, similar to that of uniformity of weights and measures.’
    • ‘It was an old one, with weight and measures on the top.’
    • ‘The unit of toxin measure is the hemagglutinating unit (hau).’
    • ‘Similarly, units of measure had to be reconciled.’
    • ‘You already know about selecting your units of measure.’
    • ‘As all units of measure are determined arbitrarily in the first place, though not fixed by law, obviously they can be altered by law.’
    • ‘For that it needed a flexible, easily deployed system that would enable operations people to forecast by various units of measure.’
    • ‘In layman's terms, standard deviation is a unit of statistical measure that also expresses the probability of a given outcome arising.’
    • ‘The basic mechanisms of RAM memory are detailed, and memory units of measure are outlined and explained.’
    system, standard, units, scale
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    1. 2.1[mass noun]A system or scale of units expressing size, amount, or degree of something.
      ‘the dimensions were in imperial measure’
      • ‘Often the two sets of data have very different scales of measure, so a bar graph would not work.’
    2. 2.2A standard quantity or amount.
      ‘heavy drinking may be five measures of spirits per day’
      • ‘Don't let the late-night munchies make you pay £1.50 for a Mars bar or £6 for a single measure of spirits.’
      portion, quantity, amount, quota, ration, allowance, allocation
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    3. 2.3A container of standard capacity used for taking fixed amounts of a substance.
      ‘gifts have included silver measures from a whisky company’
    4. 2.4A graduated rod or tape used for ascertaining the size of something.
      ‘most schools had only metric measures available’
      ruler, tape measure, rule, gauge, meter, scale, level, yardstick
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  • 3A certain quantity or degree of something.

    ‘the states retain a large measure of independence’
    • ‘Creative Assembly has done a masterful job of balancing the various factions' capabilities while still retaining a significant measure of historical accuracy.’
    • ‘Much of her art has required a substantial measure of patience in its extended procedures.’
    • ‘The carpet beside the bed indicates a chamber decorated for Costanza's lying in; its bare floor indicates a measure of austerity appropriate to her station.’
    • ‘There was more than one instance where claws sunk into soft tissue and offered them a small measure of success.’
    • ‘This they did with a fair measure of success from the 1940s through to the 1970s.’
    • ‘Well, if we're all still speaking at the end and the PIC site is being accessed and used, we have a good measure of success.’
    • ‘Indeed, a good measure of success in this endeavour has already been achieved.’
    • ‘She concentrated on centering herself, achieving a slight measure of control.’
    • ‘By the late 70s he had achieved a measure of fame.’
    certain amount, amount, degree, quantity
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    1. 3.1An indication of the degree, extent, or quality of something.
      ‘his resignation is a measure of how angry he is’
      • ‘It is a measure of the quality you can expect to hear, however, that whatever you pay to see them will probably be worth it.’
      • ‘It would at least have given a clear measure of the extent of anti-agreement sentiment in the unionist community.’
      • ‘Customer loyalty and satisfaction are key measures of success.’
      • ‘That alone is a measure of the extent to which the listeners were drawn into the music, but subsequent conversation proved the point.’
      • ‘I'm happy to accept this wager as a measure of the quality of my predictions about the long term sustainability of commons-based peer production.’
      • ‘This is one of the most visible and encouraging measures of the success of these institutions.’
      yardstick, test, standard, norm, barometer, touchstone, litmus test, criterion, benchmark
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  • 4The rhythm of a piece of poetry or a piece of music.

    • ‘The show coasted on sheer mastery of compas, the rhythmic measure that defines all flamenco, and on the charisma of the artists probing the art's dark and light moods.’
    • ‘The golden measure of poetry does not yet exist, only the rhythm of the maracas, the exact sound of the kettledrum.’
    metre, cadence, rhythm, foot
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    1. 4.1A particular metrical unit or group.
      ‘measures of two or three syllables are more frequent in English prose’
    2. 4.2North American A bar of music or the time of a piece of music.
      • ‘I can't think of too many recitals where you'd hire two extra singers for a few measures of music.’
      • ‘Could the French horn line be omitted for a few measures without disturbing the score's overall harmony and rhythmic flow?’
      • ‘There are rarely more than four measures of music without a voice-over.’
      • ‘The second movement is morbidly dreamy, and its final measures have never sounded so beautiful!’
      • ‘The final presto measures will leave you breathless.’
      • ‘At his first rehearsal with us he conducted about two measures and then put his baton down.’
      • ‘This practice technique establishes the student's security in starting a work on downbeats of measures.’
      • ‘Fingering is given where hand position shifts are required, on chromatic lines and on first beats of measures where a new phrase begins.’
      • ‘The first few measures of music drifted easily through the air, reaching Jynx's ears and beckoning her to find its source.’
      • ‘The first sixteen measures end with an arpeggiated cadence in piano two.’
      • ‘The first four measures sound practiced and include accurate articulation, steady rhythm and even a dynamic shade or two.’
      • ‘I heard the first few measures of Mozart's third violin concerto in my head set to the rhythm of the crude chant.’
      • ‘At measure 31, a cadenza is marked in the flute parts; however, it is not noted in the piano part or the original score.’
      • ‘On the second, they were shown the first two measures of each piece and then asked to play as much as they could remember (cued recall).’
      • ‘His playing is so awful in these few measures, which form the very heart of the piece, as to create a metaphor for his performance of the entire work.’
      • ‘Medtner's concerto storms right from the opening measures and sings heroically throughout.’
      • ‘Play the last four notes of each measure staccato, or make a crescendo into the next measure.’
      • ‘At a signal, they stop for six measures but continue to count silently with no physical movement.’
      • ‘Students coordinate some measures naturally, while stumbling through other more difficult measures.’
      • ‘We sense the tragedy of the poetic ballad and the noble lineage of its characters in the very opening measures of the musical rendering.’
      • ‘In measures 68 and 69, an A-major chord, the dominant of the key, is sounded, signaling the end of the piece.’
    3. 4.3archaic A dance, typically one that is stately.
      ‘now tread we a measure!’
      • ‘Ben watched with amazement that turned to pride as Hoss delicately guided Alberta Evans into the first few measures of the dance.’
      • ‘The birds twitter, the horn calls back, the mountain folk dance a droll measure, and all's right with the Alpine world.’
      • ‘Ian laughed lightly and then swept her into the first measure of the dance.’
      dance, step, caper, hop
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  • 5[with modifier] A group of rock strata.

  • 6Mathematics
    A quantity contained in another an exact number of times; a divisor.

  • 7Printing
    The width of a full line of type or print, typically expressed in picas.


  • beyond measure

    • To a very great extent.

      ‘she felt weary beyond measure’
      • ‘She had always had a love for beautiful things, and these were beautiful beyond measure.’
      • ‘He nodded understandingly, but I knew he was puzzled beyond measure.’
      • ‘It was perverse beyond measure, but it was not selfish.’
      • ‘Rachel pressed her lips together, confused beyond measure as to whether she wanted him to go or stay.’
      • ‘They are known to be valiant and brave beyond measure.’
      • ‘The idea that she might kill him terrified him beyond measure.’
      • ‘He had been rich beyond measure, and suddenly he was poor.’
      • ‘She padded her brow and face several times with the sleeve of her robe, and looked fatigued beyond measure.’
      • ‘The previous night had rendered me absolutely useless, as I had stayed up all night working on the next-to-last chapter of my book, and was exhausted beyond measure.’
      • ‘Relieved beyond measure, he downed the pill gratefully.’
      immensely, extremely, vastly, greatly, excessively, immeasurably, incalculably, infinitely, limitlessly, boundlessly, inexhaustibly
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  • for good measure

    • In addition to what has already been done or said.

      ‘he added a couple of chillies for good measure’
      • ‘All the major hits are here with a couple of new tracks thrown in for good measure.’
      • ‘He had on his hunting clothes but he added a cloak for good measure.’
      • ‘He didn't let the weakness last long; he shoved me again for good measure.’
      • ‘A cash bonus of £25 is being offered to those who open an account online and free annual travel insurance is thrown in for good measure.’
      • ‘There's even some romance thrown in for good measure.’
      • ‘Some have even thrown insurance into the mix for good measure.’
      • ‘I scrawled the word on the board and underlined it twice for good measure.’
      • ‘Could I have a copy of your report just for good measure?’
      • ‘Haley rolls her eyes and splashes him one more time for good measure.’
      • ‘I crossed my fingers underneath the table, and my legs too for good measure.’
      as a bonus, as an extra, into the bargain, to boot, in addition, besides, as well
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  • get (or take or have) the measure of

    • Assess or have assessed the character or abilities of (someone or something)

      ‘he's got her measure—she won't fool him’
      • ‘One way of getting the measure of any designer is to contrast them with their contemporaries.’
      • ‘We spend a lot of time evaluating and taking the measure of markets.’
      • ‘They found this a useful way to get the measure of their visitors before actually meeting them; now more than ever, it was proving useful.’
      • ‘Until we can break through that, we can't take the measure of what is really representative.’
      • ‘Doing so would make it easier to find the criminals and to take the measure of any systemic threats.’
      • ‘In these you take the measure of his enormous talent as a draftsman and colorist.’
      • ‘Just when you think you have the measure of the plot, it leaps away from you.’
      • ‘In that single glance, his eyes took the measure of my soul.’
      • ‘I believe it's because we never got the measure of the man.’
      • ‘Anderson seems to have the measure of the lobbyists.’
      evaluate, assess, gauge, judge, weigh up
      understand, fathom, read, be wise to, not be deceived by, see through
      have someone's number, not fall for, know someone's game, know someone's little game
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  • hard measure

    • archaic Punishment or retribution inflicted on someone.

  • in —— measure

    • To the degree specified.

      ‘his style was rough and elegant in equal measure’
      • ‘And it's sweet and it's sad and it's funny in equal measure.’
      • ‘It's badly acted, badly staged and badly directed, all in equal measure.’
      • ‘As a result of this diligence, I have received commendation and commiseration in equal measure from both the paid and the voluntary participants.’
      • ‘I believe there is, and often in no small measure!’
      • ‘Admiration and irritation are often expressed in equal measure.’
      • ‘This is in large measure due to the feeling that the rules of behaviour in international affairs are in the process of being re-written.’
      • ‘His risk-taking designs are loved - and loathed - by critics and customers in equal measure.’
      • ‘Hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measure, there isn't a dull moment in this set of episodes.’
      • ‘Who had pleased and disappointed her in equal measure?’
      • ‘Somehow, it manages to move me and make me laugh in equal measure.’
  • measure one's length

    • dated (of a person) fall flat on the ground.

      ‘he uttered a groan and measured his length in the dust’
      • ‘Oreste stumbles, recovers, stumbles again - and measures his length on the ground in a dead faint.’
      get into debt, get into arrears, default, be in the red, be late, be overdue
      topple over, tumble over, keel over, fall down, fall over, go head over heels, go end over end, fall headlong, go headlong, collapse, fall in a heap, take a spill, pitch forward
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  • measure one's words

    • Consider carefully what one says.

      ‘I had better measure my words so as not to embarrass anyone’
      • ‘‘You have been very,’ Kale paused, measuring his words.’
      • ‘Shara saw Deidre looking at her strangely, as if measuring her words for duplicity.’
      • ‘What a difference it would make if we measured our words more carefully.’
      • ‘He measured his words, trying to control his anger.’
      • ‘No longer, then, do we call upon the great books or teachings of western culture to measure our words or gauge our actions.’
      • ‘He measures his words carefully as he turns the hide over in his hands.’
      • ‘He knew he'd need to take care to measure his words with this man.’
      • ‘‘I have tickets to the new musical at the Melbourne Theater, unless you don't like musicals,’ Darla babbled, trying to measure her words.’
      • ‘He pauses again, measuring his words, trying to find the ones that fit.’
      • ‘Today I shall try to measure my words very carefully.’
  • measure of capacity

    • A standard unit of volume used for containers, liquids, and substances such as grain.

      • ‘@ was originally used as shorthand for ‘amphora’, a measure of capacity based on terracotta jars used to transport grain and wine in the ancient Mediterranean world.’
  • in no small measure

    • To a very great extent.

      ‘he contributed in no small measure to their success’
      • ‘The resilience of the economy was in no small measure due to the extra jobs created in the public sector.’
      • ‘It was a resounding success due in no small measure to Tim's dedicated efforts, and those of the Committee.’
      • ‘He is an immensely popular figure, thanks in no small measure to his glamorous and down-to-earth wife.’
      • ‘His skill as a helmsman contributed in no small measure to his success.’
      • ‘The success of this project is due in no small measure to the fountain of goodwill and support from many quarters.’
  • take measures

    • Take action to achieve a particular purpose.

      ‘they took measures to improve performance’
      • ‘In such circumstances Iraq has every right to take measures to defend itself.’
      • ‘The Chilean Navy said the crew on the stranded vessel had taken measures to prevent the fuel leak from polluting the sea.’
      • ‘I am pleased the Government is taking measures to change the culture.’
      • ‘They will then take measures to fix the problems.’
      • ‘No wonder the bosses have decided to take measures to cut down costs.’
      • ‘He will also be able for the first time to order them to take measures to improve their force's performance.’
      • ‘First of all, the Government should take measures for controlling mosquitoes which spread the disease.’
      • ‘Besides wearing a windbreaker, you can also take measures to protect your skin.’
      • ‘They would restrict the ability of governments to regulate foreign investment or to take measures to develop local enterprises.’
      • ‘On its side the presidium of the congress decided to take measures.’
      act, take action, take steps, take the initiative, move, make a move, react, do something, proceed, go ahead
      View synonyms


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.