Definition of mile in English:



  • 1A unit of linear measure equal to 5,280 feet, or 1,760 yards (approximately 1.609 kilometers)

    • ‘Every five seconds counted is equal to approximately one mile between you and the storm.’
    • ‘I suspect it may also be the fault of the speed limits changing from miles per hour to kilometres per hour.’
    • ‘Patti said kilometers are shorter than miles, but the walk was still really long.’
    • ‘The same numbers apply if I measure distance in miles or centimeters or any other unit.’
    • ‘Families then move a few miles or kilometers away to an area richer in resources.’
    • ‘I'd have said it was more like 3.7 miles rather than kilometres.’
    • ‘In this new, higher orbit, the craft's linear velocity, measured in miles per hour, was greater than before.’
    • ‘The newly discovered town is about five miles (eight kilometers) from the coast.’
    • ‘It seems to me like if it takes more kilometers to make a mile, then it should take more kilograms to make a pound.’
    • ‘If we had another five miles [8 kilometers] to go, we might not have all made it.’
    • ‘The earth is approximately 93 million miles / 150 million kilometers from the sun.’
    • ‘A hunt can last from a few seconds to several minutes and cover up to two miles (three kilometers).’
    • ‘First of all, if you came from Athens, you had to walk 210 miles [340 kilometers] to get to the site.’
    • ‘Come daybreak, the atoll was about three miles (five kilometers) away and had rough water.’
    • ‘In one area some 10 square miles [25 square kilometers] of the city was completely flattened.’
    • ‘Cross-channel trains reach speeds of up to 160 kilometers, or 100 miles per hour.’
    • ‘Each village is considered to own three miles into the forest in every direction.’
    • ‘The tsunami swept everything before it for up to five miles (eight kilometers) inland.’
    • ‘It is expected that the Government will soon switch the speed limits from miles to kilometres.’
    • ‘There were plenty of supporters to cheer on the women as they set off along a five kilometre course - three miles - around the estate.’
    1. 1.1historical A Roman measure of 1,000 paces (approximately 1,620 yards)
      • ‘Etched into the stone are the Roman numerals LIII, the distance in Roman miles to Carlisle.’
    2. 1.2informal A very long way or a very great amount.
      ‘vistas that stretch for miles’
      • ‘Just stroll down Boca Chica Beach, a remote stretch of beach and dunes surrounded by miles of brush and cactus.’
      • ‘And that is still, in my opinion, the best American blog by miles.’
      • ‘It's my favourite album of the year by miles and miles.’
      • ‘In winning their medals, the two Scotsmen moved British cycling onwards by miles.’
      • ‘And it wasn't a close win - it was a win by miles, so that was nice.’
      • ‘A part of him refused to entertain the notion that when he reached its edge, he would be confronted by miles of unrelenting desert sand.’
      • ‘And for those who rarely venture South of the river - this beats every bar in West London by miles.’
      • ‘The guitar was the 20th century's most popular instrument by miles.’
      • ‘They were surrounded by miles of forest, moose and black bear, and few people.’
      • ‘Parents have been told their closure-hit school is not rural - although it is surrounded by miles of fields and there are no shops.’
      • ‘Never mind that the VCD is an inferior video format and is separated by miles of digital excellence from the DVD.’
      • ‘These small dwellings, each separated by miles of forest, will provide nightly respite from the rain.’
      • ‘Villages, let alone pubs, don't grow on trees in this part of the world: we simply took the wrong route and missed it by miles.’
      • ‘Readers would miss the bottom by miles if I were to proffer such advice.’
      • ‘Woods then bogeyed the ninth for the third time this week to see his lead cut to two after a wild second that missed the green by miles.’
      • ‘The US has the highest rates of incarceration in the civilized world, and I mean we hold the record by miles.’
      • ‘All afternoon I'd missed much bigger targets by miles!’
      • ‘Apart from The West Wing, it's the best thing on television by miles and miles.’
      • ‘The deer taught her how to run, and keep running for miles at a steady pace.’
      • ‘It missed the other man by miles, instead coming to rest beside Eric's desk.’
      a large amount, a fair amount, a good deal, a great deal, a deal, a great quantity, quantities, an abundance, a wealth, a profusion, plenty, masses
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    3. 1.3A race extending over a mile.
      • ‘The three-year-old colt had won each of his five starts this year, all Group I races at a mile.’


  • By a great amount or a long way.

    ‘the second tape is miles better’
    • ‘He hasn't looked happy so far in the championship at centre half-back and was miles off the pace in the frenetic first twenty minutes.’
    preoccupied, diverted, inattentive, vague, absorbed, engrossed, abstracted, distrait, distant, absent, absent-minded, faraway
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  • be miles away

    • informal Be lost in thought and consequently unaware of what is happening around one.

      • ‘Part of your mind was focussing on the road, but you were miles away.’
      • ‘I could stare straight ahead but be miles away in seconds.’
  • go the extra mile

    • Be especially assiduous in one's attempt to achieve something.

      • ‘Now is an ideal time to go the extra mile with extra service or courtesy.’
      • ‘The private hospitality outlets generally did not have this approach, but went the extra mile to ensure good value - and those are the places where we stayed longer and spent more money.’
      • ‘When you go the extra mile for your students, they are more likely to go the extra mile for you.’
      • ‘It is worth going that extra mile when you know they've gone the extra mile to accommodate you.’
      • ‘More companies should take the extra steps, go the extra mile to show some pride in their product and support the people who paid good money to buy their game.’
      • ‘Providers need to be well trained and academically affiliated providers who can expend the time and effort to go the extra mile for their patients.’
      • ‘Professionalism for the rest of us means being willing to go the extra mile and work the extra hours.’
      • ‘Carol went the extra mile with this and her diligence has led directly to the discovery of nearly half a million contraband cigarettes.’
      • ‘The Lifetime Achievement Award is for a person who has gone the extra mile in the course of their paid duties or voluntary work and has demonstrated a lifelong dedication.’
      • ‘Our ideal candidate will also be a determined achiever, that is, a person who goes the extra mile to achieve personal goals.’
  • a mile a minute

    • informal Very quickly.

      ‘he talks a mile a minute’
      • ‘Right now, he's shooting his mouth off a mile a minute on his mobile.’
      • ‘Within minutes, Scott had Ellie talking a mile a minute about everything she could think of.’
      • ‘The admiral stared at the blank screen for a few more minutes, his mind whirling a mile a minute.’
      • ‘Apparently, he pulled the ‘nicknames’ out of his head a mile a minute.’
      • ‘Thousands of emotions were rushing through my body a mile a minute.’
      • ‘From his home in Prince Edward Island, words spill out at a mile a minute as he describes his life as a fiddler and stepdancer.’
      • ‘And we've got to wonder, if you're able to talk a mile a minute on the ground, how do you calculate the speed of speech at cruising altitude?’
      • ‘He appears in many of the films just as he is in person - talking a mile a minute from behind thick glasses, his tongue working overtime to keep up with the rapid-fire messages from his brain.’
      • ‘She reappeared just as quickly, talking a mile a minute.’
      • ‘Anna was breathing fast, and her heart was racing a mile a minute.’
      quickly, fast, swiftly, speedily, at speed, at full speed, at the speed of light, post-haste, hotfoot, at full tilt, as fast as one's legs can carry one, at a gallop, expeditiously, briskly, promptly
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  • miles from anywhere

    • informal In a very isolated place.

      • ‘Hundreds and hundreds of miles from anywhere, the spot was the very ‘climax of desolation,’ as one of Stuart's fellow explorers once put it, and Stuart and his men had gone through hell to get there.’
      • ‘There was one large house, and eight smaller ones, miles from anywhere else.’
      • ‘They were miles from anywhere and mum couldn't get a signal on her mobile phone, so she had to walk quite a way to get help.’
      • ‘When I worked for Bright Star they had their store in an old military bomb store miles from anywhere.’
      • ‘The fortuitous setting of the Bilderberg Jan Luyken means that it overcomes the usual annoying paradox of hotels in major cities: the ones close to everything are too noisy, and the ones quiet enough to permit sleep are miles from anywhere.’
      • ‘Breezily, reassuringly, I said ‘Oh well, it's not like we're miles from anywhere.’’
      • ‘Nobody thought York was a possibility, because it's miles from anywhere.’
      • ‘I couldn't go for a walk because the house was miles from anywhere and it was surrounded by plains.’
      • ‘You'll feel a million miles from anywhere, especially at night, yet you're only a 15-minute cab ride from town (and there's a free minibus).’
      • ‘A million miles from anywhere, it is America's most far-flung state but its isolated beauty is a huge attraction for adventures and honeymooners.’
  • see (or tell or spot) something a mile off

    • informal Recognize something very easily.

      ‘the first-year campers can be spotted a mile off’
      • ‘Thing is, there are still a lot that don't know how to carry this off successfully and you're going to be able to spot them a mile off.’
      • ‘You can spot them a mile off - crew cuts, their best going-to-court suit and a black rubbish bag full of their stuff.’
      • ‘Book lovers can spot a heavyweight writer a mile off.’
      • ‘‘We really were sure that we'd spot the secret shopper a mile off but we really, honestly didn't ’, she says.’
      • ‘If you put grass cuttings in your bin they spot it a mile off.’
      • ‘The ‘scary’ bits are so clichéd they can be seen a mile off.’
      • ‘It is occasionally a little corny dramatically and the plot twists can be seen a mile off but technically the film works.’
      • ‘Viewers have become so adept at decoding adverts that your average post-modern couch potato can spot a marketing strategy a mile off.’
      • ‘You spot them a mile off and they were packing the boat this morning to town.’
      • ‘I don't quite know what it is, but I can still spot it a mile off.’
  • stand (or stick) out a mile

    • informal Be very obvious or incongruous.

      • ‘His performance stands out a mile and there isn't enough of him.’
      • ‘It stood out a mile against the milky-white skin.’
      • ‘As it was, he was also wearing his travelling gear, painfully bright clothing that stood out a mile against his dark skin.’
      • ‘It's worrying that mistakes that would stand out a mile to patients are being taken as gospel for all sorts of decisions made by healthcare staff, insurers and solicitors.’
      • ‘They stand out a mile, and their final act of defiance is appallingly preposterous and embarrassing.’
      • ‘Like, you know, when someone on a soap opera goes undercover, they wear a hat and yet they're the only one wearing a hat so they stick out a mile.’
      • ‘I stood out a mile, a huge, rustling, fluorescent yellow blob on the green landscape of life.’
      • ‘For a team on a bit of roll like Aberdeen (three wins and a draw in their last four games) their odds stuck out a mile.’
      • ‘And any review must surely consider whether Salesbury Hall should host the show again - when the problems of getting large numbers of people to and from that location stand out a mile.’
      • ‘But the two nuns stood out a mile - both were dressed in their habits and both were tall, strong looking women.’
      clear, plain, plain to see, crystal clear, evident, apparent, manifest, patent, conspicuous, pronounced, transparent, clear-cut, palpable, prominent, marked, decided, salient, striking, distinct, bold, noticeable, perceptible, perceivable, visible, discernible, detectable, observable, tangible, recognizable
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Old English mīl, based on Latin mil(l)ia, plural of mille thousand (the original Roman unit of distance was mille passus a thousand paces).