Definition of caliber in US English:


(British calibre) (also cal, cal.)


  • 1The quality of someone's character or the level of their ability.

    ‘they could ill afford to lose a man of his caliber’
    • ‘SIR - I am sure that it is an utter disgrace to have men of this calibre and quality in jail because they are trying to defend their own and their families' lives.’
    • ‘‘We work at the highest calibre level and soon our reputation has grown,’ said Moore.’
    • ‘He is a man of the highest calibre and integrity, leading a professional team of officers acting entirely independently and objectively in pursuit of the criminals concerned.’
    • ‘It's very rare that players of his calibre and quality become available’
    • ‘And they are well aware of our real character, our real calibre, and our real commitment to putting the people first.’
    • ‘Corporations conduct nationwide talent searches for qualified, calibered people to work within high-level positions; why don't we start doing the same searching for female candidates to represent the majority of Americans who are female?’
    • ‘Candidates of character and calibre with a sense of dedication and social commitment alone are to be elected.’
    • ‘The enclosed facility is Olympic caliber in size and quality, and you'll likely witness local talent of near-similar ability.’
    • ‘In line with our continuing quest for excellence, we are seeking for high calibered and dynamic young people to join our team of professionals.’
    • ‘That seems to have been the spiteful remark of an adversary; for at least while Churchill was still in politics, the Congress was staffed, and led by men and women of calibre and integrity.’
    • ‘While the lopsided score may look discouraging to Warrior fans, it is important to consider the bevy of national calibre talent that McMaster has when passing final judgment.’
    • ‘The success of our initiative is testament to the high quality calibre of the producers in our region.’
    • ‘A pension can be an attractive perk, helping businesses to attract and retain quality calibre staff, especially if the firm contributes the bulk of the funds in the scheme.’
    • ‘It was very comforting and reassuring to have such high quality care from high caliber professionals.’
    • ‘‘Buying a ticket to a concert does not mean buying an entitlement or a guarantee to any caliber or quality of performance,’ he said.’
    • ‘Members of Parliament who have already debated and have complained about the quality and calibre of some of the personnel we have sent on foreign missions.’
    • ‘Love them or hate them, leaders of high calibre have the ability to grip the imagination; to make people feel that they've been swept up and carried in a direction of great promise.’
    • ‘She added power and solid technical ability, reflecting the SFU rowing program's ability to develop top calibre rowers.’
    • ‘It told everyone you drove a vehicle of calibre and quality - and that you knew Ford sold all the cheapest replacement parts in Halfords.’
    • ‘The crucial connection between high calibre jobs and high quality leisure and cultural facilities may have been grasped earlier in Dundee than other cities.’
    • ‘Risk managers are charged with an important function within financial institutions, and to attract calibre candidates, salary levels tend to be competitive.’
    • ‘We have ample of foreign language resource available here, high calibered translators are present here in Mumbai for all the languages and we can offer completely error free interface in mentioned languages apart from English.’
    quality, merit, distinction, character, worth, stature, excellence, superiority, eminence, pre-eminence
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    1. 1.1 The standard reached by something.
      ‘educational facilities of a very high caliber’
      • ‘The singing, too, while it could hardly be described as Broadway standard, is of a high enough calibre to keep the punters happy.’
      • ‘Original sound recordings maybe variable in quality, but this is of no consequence with performance standards of such high calibre.’
      • ‘What I would really like is for people to come to know the kind of quality and calibre of artist that exists in Canada.’
      • ‘They were unanimous in their belief that more rugby of this calibre should take place at the immaculately prepared stadium.’
      • ‘‘If we cannot get good calibre forensic pathology applicants for our office, standards will not be maintained,’ he said.’
      • ‘Read her account, and begin to understand what caliber and quality of fakers we're up against.’
      • ‘He is preaching to the converted, modestly leaving out the crucial factor: anyone can butcher the standards, it takes an artist of his calibre to honour them.’
      • ‘In case you hadn't noticed, health care does not attract the caliber of CEOs found in other industries.’
      • ‘Ireland has no more resources than we do but they have football and rugby players of true calibre.’
      • ‘With players of that calibre reaching full fitness and Duff still to be unleashed, the next couple of months could well prove extremely interesting.’
      • ‘The quality and calibre of her drawings of Eve make it worth the wait.’
      • ‘The calibre and analytical ability of students have increased due to the curriculum and this is one of the reasons for the increase in demand for the profession.’
      • ‘Its other output may not be of the same calibre but it all adds up to a significant shift away from reliance on the music video.’
      • ‘Any person in the world could reach the caliber of magician to be able to make these by the handfuls and that's what a great majority of people did do.’
      • ‘In ancient time, students were studying Ayurveda under residential system staying in Pathshala or Ashram and all the theoretical as well as practical facilities of study with high calibered teachers were available under one roof.’
      • ‘I always imagined anything sold on an infomercial would be of the highest quality and calibre - that's why you can't just buy one anywhere.’
      • ‘So what does an actor of MacLachlan's calibre do to reach the A-list - even if it's just for a fleeting moment?’
      • ‘I'm a very picky consumer, and if I'm going to hand over my hard earned money for a piece of merchandise, I make sure it's of the highest quality and caliber.’
      • ‘Still if they can manage to recruit the right calibre of personnel to stand alongside Mayor Nuala Ryan who knows how things may pan out for them.’
      • ‘You may well find that a life-affirming experience like seeing writing of this calibre produced to this standard will compensate for a lack of rigour at its core.’
      • ‘But in fact it is a significant problem for many men seeking a partner of suitable calibre.’
      standard, level, grade, quality
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  • 2The internal diameter or bore of a gun barrel.

    in combination ‘a .22 caliber repeater rifle’
    • ‘The barrels of the .30 calibers were stuck in the ground.’
    • ‘Now is the time to contemplate the caliber, barrel length and weight.’
    • ‘The company's legacy began with a single .38 Special case, and now includes 60 different calibers for handguns and rifles.’
    • ‘The competition small bore .22 calibre and the .177 calibre air rifle were a major contrast to the Army issue Steyr.’
    • ‘I have stared down the barrel of a .44 caliber S and W without so much as a flinch, and here I was nervous.’
    • ‘Factor in all finishes, grip frames, barrel lengths and calibers and one has 48 choices when it comes to selecting an Open-Top.’
    • ‘What you have here is a design that will facilitate changing barrels and calibers with a minimum of tools and effort.’
    • ‘The gun, fitted with a 51 calibre thermal sleeve encased barrel, fires 6 rounds per minute.’
    • ‘Improved projectiles were as important as larger calibres and longer barrels.’
    • ‘The Howitzer is equipped with a 39 calibre barrel.’
    • ‘There's a single pistol funnel which should handle the majority of pistol calibers and two rifle funnels.’
    • ‘The barrel flutes vary in size for different calibers and barrel lengths, and perform a couple of functions.’
    • ‘A shotgun and a 22 calibre rifle also are believed to still be locked in a cupboard in the house, but police are still making inquiries.’
    • ‘This was a large calibre assault rifle which could fire up to 1200 rounds per minute.’
    • ‘Of course, changing calibers requires having a barrel that has already been zeroed.’
    • ‘There was a slight additional charge for other calibers and barrel lengths.’
    • ‘For larger calibers and long-gun bores, the 3 - Piece Large Rifle Calibers and Shotgun Kits contain a larger-diameter rod.’
    • ‘Hunter agreed with his own nod and took out his own revolver, a .45 caliber, long barrel, made custom by the town's gunsmith.’
    • ‘Others show only a portion of a barrel containing the caliber designation in an ad.’
    • ‘Adapters and wads are available for most handgun and rifle calibers, and 12-gauge shotguns.’
    bore, diameter, gauge
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    1. 2.1 The diameter of a bullet, shell, or rocket.
      • ‘Anyway, eh, I figure that the calibre of the bullets, plus the range and angle used whilst firing the weapon on the lock would figure in to it somewhere.’
      • ‘Large caliber rockets and precision artillery also remain a persistent threat throughout the evolving non-linear battlefield.’
      • ‘Abd raised his machine gun as the aircraft approached, firing a continuous burst of his small caliber bullets into the air.’
      • ‘The large caliber bullets tore into the approaching enemy soldiers with viciousness.’
      • ‘But the lightness comes with a price: the Stryker's armor cannot stop anything heavier than a .50 caliber bullet.’
      • ‘In each case, has the same caliber of bullet been used?’
      • ‘Any bullet will pass through it, even a .22 caliber bullet.’
      • ‘X-Rays showed a .22 calibre bullet lodged in his brain.’
      • ‘This collaboration ended dramatically when the Crustacean was holed by a high calibre bullet fired by Desdemona.’
      • ‘At least 834 bullets of various calibers, weapons and three ready-to-use bomb circuits were also confiscated.’
      • ‘In addition, bullet manufacturers have developed more varieties of competition-grade bullets in these calibers than all the others combined.’
      • ‘The next thing I knew bullets of all calibers came flying through my door and the walls.’
      • ‘He moved away a bit just as she released the trigger, and the small caliber bullet pierced his shirt, and tore into the surface of his forearm.’
      • ‘This muzzle-loader was fired by a percussion cap and shot a .58 caliber bullet.’
      • ‘Many people own guns that can fire the .223 caliber bullet used in the attacks, or drive white vans similar to vehicles seen leaving the shootings.’
      • ‘The information regarding all the various calibers, bullet weights and factory velocities is available at the various web sites, or in catalogs.’
      • ‘The launcher is capable of firing rockets of different calibers armed with a range of warheads.’
      • ‘They included bone, teeth, and melted lead which weighed the same as a .32 calibre bullet.’
      • ‘The crowd assumed the police must be firing blanks at them, until a .38 caliber bullet ripped through Virgil Harrison's right forearm.’
      • ‘The answer is, it launches a.45 caliber bullet from a gun that doesn't need a .45-size frame.’
      • ‘Michelle dodged and his shot hit and exploded a tree due to its high calibers bullets.’
      • ‘While the gargantuan engineering firm is better known for its hydro dams in Cree country, it also makes a lot of bullets, of different calibres, specifications and killing techniques.’
    2. 2.2 The diameter of a circular body, such as a tube, blood vessel, or fiber.
      • ‘The caliber and number of vessels are not appreciably different between the normal and abnormal regions of lung.’
      • ‘It's a very small study showing very small changes in the caliber of a large vessel in the arm.’
      • ‘A decrease in the caliber of blood vessels going to the ‘light’ areas suggests airway disease or vasculopathy.’
      • ‘The changes in the caliber of the arteriolar-venular anastomosis are related to the activity of the capillary circulation.’
      • ‘It regulates the calibre of blood vessels to vary the distribution of blood to the organs, whilst also maintaining the correct blood pressure.’
      • ‘An enema shows a normal sized rectum and small caliber sigmoid and descending colon with a transition zone in colonic caliber occurring at the level of the splenic flexure.’
      • ‘Arterial caliber is regulated in part by wall shear stress, both acutely and chronically through regulation of matrix metalloprotcinase production.’
      • ‘Mental states occasion also changes in the calibre of blood-vessels, or alteration in the heart-beats, or processes more subtle still, in glands and viscera.’
      • ‘An evaluation of the clinical significance of the reduction of the tracheal caliber with respect to airway R was the second goal of our study.’
      • ‘Preparation for both studies involves antiseptic cleansing of the glans and perimeatal area and the placement of a small caliber lubricated feeding tube into the bladder.’
      • ‘This encroachment on brain tissue by enlarged ventricles impinges on the caliber of arterioles and capillaries, often resulting in ischemia.’


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘social standing or importance’): from French, from Italian calibro, perhaps from Arabic qālib ‘mold’, based on Greek kalapous ‘shoemaker's last’.