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[mezh-er] /ˈmɛʒ ər/
a unit or standard of measurement:
weights and measures.
a system of measurement:
liquid measure.
an instrument, as a graduated rod or a container of standard capacity, for measuring.
the extent, dimensions, quantity, etc., of something, ascertained especially by comparison with a standard:
to take the measure of a thing.
the act or process of ascertaining the extent, dimensions, or quantity of something; measurement.
a definite or known quantity measured out:
to drink a measure of wine.
any standard of comparison, estimation, or judgment.
a quantity, degree, or proportion:
in large measure.
a moderate amount:
to live with a measure of enjoyment.
a limit, or an extent or degree not to be exceeded:
to know no measure.
reasonable bounds or limits:
to know no measure.
a legislative bill or enactment:
The senate passed the new measure.
Usually, measures. actions or procedures intended as a means to an end:
to take measures to avert suspicion.
a short rhythmical movement or arrangement, as in poetry or music.
Compare meter2 (def 1b).
a particular kind of such arrangement.
a metrical unit.
  1. the music contained between two bar lines; bar.
  2. an air or melody.
  3. a slow, dignified dance.
Printing. the width, measured in ems or picas, to which a column or page of printed matter is set.
measures, Geology. beds; strata.
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), measured, measuring.
to ascertain the extent, dimensions, quantity, capacity, etc., of, especially by comparison with a standard:
to measure boundaries.
to mark off or deal out by way of measurement (often followed by off or out):
to measure out two cups of flour.
to estimate the relative amount, value, etc., of, by comparison with some standard:
to measure the importance of an issue.
to judge or appraise by comparison with something or someone else:
to measure Corneille against Racine.
to serve as the measure of:
Her sacrifices measure the degree of her love.
to adjust or proportion:
to measure a portion to one's liking.
to bring into comparison or competition:
to measure one's strength with another's.
to travel over; traverse:
to measure a room with great strides.
verb (used without object), measured, measuring.
to take measurements.
to admit of measurement.
to be of a specified measure.
Verb phrases
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.
beyond measure, too much to be reckoned; immeasurably; extremely:
The suffering that they endured was beyond measure.
for good measure, as an extra:
In addition to dessert, they served chocolates for good measure.
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.
in a / some measure, to some extent or degree:
His conclusion is justified in some measure.
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.
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.
Origin of measure
1250-1300; Middle English mesure, from Middle French, from Latin mēnsūra, equivalent to mēns(us), past participle of mētīrī “to measure, mete” + -ūra -ure
Related forms
measurer, noun
intermeasure, verb (used with object), intermeasured, intermeasuring.
mismeasure, verb, mismeasured, mismeasuring.
outmeasure, verb (used with object), outmeasured, outmeasuring.
premeasure, verb (used with object), premeasured, premeasuring.
remeasure, verb (used with object), remeasured, remeasuring.
undermeasure, verb (used with object), undermeasured, undermeasuring, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for measure out
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The other bade them measure out the supplies, "Pray, dole them out."

    Anabasis Xenophon
  • He should then be taught how to weigh or measure out that sample with proper care.

    College Teaching Paul Klapper
  • Tell him he must measure out the water without any guesswork.

    The Measurement of Intelligence Lewis Madison Terman
  • Take his measure out of the corner of my eye and understand him.

    Fantazius Mallare Ben Hecht
  • As for her husband, he deserves all the unhappiness which remorse can measure out to him.

    Katharine Frensham Beatrice Harraden
  • Again, how are you to measure out the exact quantity that is good for her?

  • But it is very hard for me to bear when you measure out your scorn drop by drop.

    The Precipice Ivan Goncharov
  • Then you will measure out to Norman Gartram, and pay back to him all he has paid to me.

    King of the Castle George Manville Fenn
  • What does this mean, that he looks on me as if I had come to measure out punishment?

    The Pharaoh and the Priest Alexander Glovatski
British Dictionary definitions for measure out

measure out

verb (transitive, adverb)
to pour or dole out: they measure out a pint of fluid
to administer; mete out: they measured out harsh punishments


the extent, quantity, amount, or degree of something, as determined by measurement or calculation
a device for measuring distance, volume, etc, such as a graduated scale or container
a system of measurement: give the size in metric measure
a standard used in a system of measurements: the international prototype kilogram is the measure of mass in SI units
a specific or standard amount of something: a measure of grain, short measure, full measure
a basis or standard for comparison: his work was the measure of all subsequent attempts
reasonable or permissible limit or bounds: we must keep it within measure
degree or extent (often in phrases such as in some measure, in a measure, etc): they gave him a measure of freedom
(often pl) a particular action intended to achieve an effect: they took measures to prevent his leaving
a legislative bill, act, or resolution: to bring in a measure
(music) another word for bar1 (sense 15a)
(prosody) poetic rhythm or cadence; metre
a metrical foot
(poetic) a melody or tune
the act of measuring; measurement
(archaic) a dance
(printing) the width of a page or column of type
for good measure, as an extra precaution or beyond requirements
get the measure of someone, get someone's measure, to assess the nature, character, quality, etc, of someone
made to measure, (of clothes) made to fit an individual purchaser
(transitive) often foll by up. to determine the size, amount, etc, of by measurement
(intransitive) to make a measurement or measurements
(transitive) to estimate or determine: I measured his strength to be greater than mine
(transitive) to function as a measurement of: the ohm measures electrical resistance
(transitive) to bring into competition or conflict: he measured his strength against that of his opponent
(intransitive) to be as specified in extent, amount, etc: the room measures six feet
(transitive) to travel or move over as if measuring
(transitive) to adjust or choose: he measured his approach to suit the character of his client
(intransitive) to allow or yield to measurement
Derived Forms
measurer, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from Latin mēnsūra measure, from mēnsus, past participle of mētīrī to measure
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for measure out



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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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measure out in Medicine

measure meas·ure (mězh'ər)

  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.

v. meas·ured, meas·ur·ing, meas·ures
  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.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Idioms and Phrases with measure out


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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