[ kal-uh-ber ]
/ ˈkæl ə bər /


the diameter of something of circular section, especially that of the inside of a tube: a pipe of three-inch caliber.
Ordnance. the diameter of the bore of a gun taken as a unit of measurement.
degree of capacity or competence; ability: a mathematician of high caliber.
degree of merit or excellence; quality: the high moral caliber of the era.
Also especially British, cal·i·bre.

Origin of caliber

1560–70; variant of calibre < Middle FrenchArabic qālib mold, last < Greek kālápous shoe last, equivalent to kāla- combining form of kâlon wood + poús foot (see -pod)



cal·i·bered; especially British, cal·i·bred, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for calibre

British Dictionary definitions for calibre


US caliber

/ (ˈkælɪbə) /


the diameter of a cylindrical body, esp the internal diameter of a tube or the bore of a firearm
the diameter of a shell or bullet
ability; distinctiona musician of high calibre
personal charactera man of high calibre

Derived forms of calibre

calibred or US calibered, adjective

Word Origin for calibre

C16: from Old French, from Italian calibro, from Arabic qālib shoemaker's last, mould
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

Medical definitions for calibre

[ kălə-bər ]


The diameter of the inside of a round cylinder, such as a tube.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.