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ounce1

[ouns]
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noun
  1. a unit of weight equal to 437.5 grains or 1/16 pound (28.35 grams) avoirdupois.
  2. a unit of 480 grains, 1/12 pound (31.1 grams) troy or apothecaries' weight.
  3. a fluid ounce.
  4. a small quantity or portion.
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Origin of ounce1

1350–1400; Middle English unce < Middle French < Latin uncia twelfth part, inch, ounce, derivative of unus one

ounce2

[ouns]
noun
  1. snow leopard.
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Origin of ounce2

1300–50; Middle English unce lynx < Anglo-French; Old French once, variant of lonce (erroneously taken as l'once the ounce) < Vulgar Latin *luncea, derivative of Latin lync- (stem of lynx) lynx
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for ounce

ounce1

noun
  1. a unit of weight equal to one sixteenth of a pound (avoirdupois); 1 ounce is equal to 437.5 grains or 28.349 gramsAbbreviation: oz
  2. a unit of weight equal to one twelfth of a Troy or Apothecaries' pound; 1 ounce is equal to 480 grains or 31.103 grams
  3. short for fluid ounce
  4. a small portion or amount
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French unce, from Latin uncia a twelfth; from ūnus one

ounce2

noun
  1. another name for snow leopard
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Word Origin

C18: from Old French once, by mistaken division of lonce as if l'once, from Latin lynx
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

Word Origin and History for ounce

n.1

unit of weight, early 14c., from Old French once, unce, a measure of weight or time (12c.), from Latin uncia "one-twelfth part" (of a pound, foot, etc.), from Latin unus "one" (see one). The Latin word had been adopted in Old English as ynce (see inch). It was one-twelfth of a pound in the Troy system of weights, but one-sixteenth in avoirdupois. Abbreviation oz. is from older Italian onza. Also used in Middle English as a measure of time (7.5 seconds) and length (about 3 inches).

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n.2

"wildcat," c.1300, from Old French once "lynx" (13c.), from lonce, with l- mistaken as definite article, from Vulgar Latin *luncea, from Latin lyncea "lynx-like," from lynx (see lynx). Originally the common lynx, later extended to other wildcats, now mainly used of the mountain-panther or snow leopard of Asia.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ounce in Medicine

ounce

(ouns)
n.
  1. A unit of weight in the US Customary System, an avoirdupois unit equal to 437.5 grains or 28.35 grams.
  2. A unit of apothecary weight equal to 480 grains or 31.10 grams.
  3. A fluid ounce.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

ounce in Science

ounce

[ouns]
  1. A unit of weight in the US Customary System equal to 116 of a pound or 437.5 grains (28.35 grams). See Table at measurement.
  2. See fluid ounce.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with ounce

ounce

In addition to the idiom beginning with ounce

also see:

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.