[ dih-men-shuhn, dahy- ]
See synonyms for dimension on Thesaurus.com
  1. Mathematics.

    • a property of space; extension in a given direction: A straight line has one dimension, a parallelogram has two dimensions, and a parallelepiped has three dimensions.

    • the generalization of this property to spaces with curvilinear extension, as the surface of a sphere.

    • the generalization of this property to vector spaces and to Hilbert space.

    • the generalization of this property to fractals, which can have dimensions that are noninteger real numbers.

    • extension in time: Space-time has three dimensions of space and one of time.

  2. Usually dimensions.

    • measurement in length, width, and thickness.

    • scope; importance: the dimensions of a problem.

  1. an aspect, feature, or angle: A study abroad experience can add a cultural dimension to your language learning.We haven't addressed that dimension of the issue.

  2. magnitude; size: Matter has dimension.

  3. Topology.

    • a magnitude that, independently or in conjunction with other such magnitudes, serves to define the location of an element within a given set, as of a point on a line, an object in a space, or an event in space-time.

    • the number of elements in a finite basis of a given vector space.

  4. Physics. any of a set of basic kinds of quantity, as mass, length, and time, in terms of which all other kinds of quantity can be expressed: usually denoted by capital letters, with appropriate exponents, placed in brackets:The dimensions of velocity are [LT−1].: Compare dimensional analysis.

  5. Also called al·ter·nate di·men·sion [awl-ter-nit di-men-shuhn, dahy-] /ˈɔl tər nɪt dɪˈmɛn ʃən, daɪ-/ . (in science fiction, fantasy, etc.) a hypothetical universe or world that is different from our known universe and reachable by traveling in directions that are not the perceptible axes of space and time, as with the use of futuristic technology or magic: Your enemies are villains, cultists, terrible monsters, and unfathomable entities from alternate dimensions or the cosmos beyond.: Compare parallel universe (def. 3).

  6. dimensions, Informal. the measurements of a woman's bust, waist, and hips, in that order: The dressmaker noted that the customer's dimensions were 38-24-36.

verb (used with object)
  1. to shape or fashion to the desired dimensions: Dimension the shelves so that they fit securely into the cabinet.

  2. to indicate the dimensions of an item, area, etc., on (a sketch or drawing).

Origin of dimension

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English dimensioun, from Anglo-French or directly from Latin dīmēnsiōn- (stem of dīmēnsiō ) “a measuring,” equivalent to dīmēns(us) “measured out” (past participle of dīmētīrī, equivalent to dī- di-2 + mētīrī “to measure”) + -iōn- -ion

Other words for dimension

Other words from dimension

  • di·men·sion·al, adjective
  • di·men·sion·al·i·ty [dih-men-shuh-nal-i-tee, dahy-], /dɪˌmɛn ʃəˈnæl ɪ ti, daɪ-/, noun
  • di·men·sion·al·ly, adverb
  • di·men·sion·less, adjective
  • mul·ti·di·men·sion·al, adjective
  • non·di·men·sioned, adjective
  • un·di·men·sioned, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use dimension in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for dimension


/ (dɪˈmɛnʃən) /

  1. (often plural) a measurement of the size of something in a particular direction, such as the length, width, height, or diameter

  2. (often plural) scope; size; extent: a problem of enormous dimensions

  1. aspect: a new dimension to politics

  2. maths the number of coordinates required to locate a point in space

  3. physics

    • the product or the quotient of the fundamental physical quantities (such as mass, length, or time) raised to the appropriate power in a derived physical quantity: the dimensions of velocity are length divided by time

    • the power to which such a fundamental quantity has to be raised in a derived quantity

  1. (tr) mainly US

    • to shape or cut to specified dimensions

    • to mark with specified dimensions

Origin of dimension

C14: from Old French, from Latin dīmensiō an extent, from dīmētīrī to measure out, from mētīrī

Derived forms of dimension

  • dimensional, adjective
  • dimensionality, noun
  • dimensionally, adverb
  • dimensionless, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for dimension


[ dĭ-mĕnshən ]

    • Any one of the three physical or spatial properties of length, area, and volume. In geometry, a point is said to have zero dimension; a figure having only length, such as a line, has one dimension; a plane or surface, two dimensions; and a figure having volume, three dimensions. The fourth dimension is often said to be time, as in the theory of General Relativity. Higher dimensions can be dealt with mathematically but cannot be represented visually.

    • The measurement of a length, width, or thickness.

  1. A unit, such as mass, time, or charge, associated with a physical quantity and used as the basis for other measurements, such as acceleration.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.