something, as a glove, thrown down by a medieval knight in token of challenge to combat.
Archaic. a challenge.
Archaic. a pledge or pawn; security.

verb (used with object), gaged, gag·ing.

Archaic. to pledge, stake, or wager.

Origin of gage

1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French < Germanic; see wage



noun, verb (used with object), gaged, gag·ing. (chiefly in technical use)

Related formsgag·er, noun



verb (used with object), gauged, gaug·ing.

to determine the exact dimensions, capacity, quantity, or force of; measure.
to appraise, estimate, or judge.
to make conformable to a standard.
to mark or measure off; delineate.
to prepare or mix (plaster) with a definite proportion of plaster of Paris and mortar.
to chip or rub (bricks or stones) to a uniform size or shape.


a standard of measure or measurement.
a standard dimension, size, or quantity.
any device or instrument for measuring, registering measurements, or testing something, especially for measuring a dimension, quantity, or mechanical accuracy: pressure gauge; marking gauge.
a means of estimating or judging; criterion; test.
extent; scope; capacity: trying to determine the gauge of his own strength.
Ordnance. a unit of measure of the internal diameter of a shotgun barrel, determined by the number of spherical lead bullets of a diameter equal to that of the bore that are required to make one pound: a twelve-gauge shotgun.
Railroads. the distance between the inner edges of the heads of the rails in a track, usually 4 feet 8.5 inches (1.4 meters) (standard gauge), but sometimes more (broad gauge) and sometimes less (narrow gauge).
the distance between a pair of wheels on an axle.
the thickness or diameter of various, usually thin, objects, as the thickness of sheet metal or the diameter of a wire or screw.
the fineness of a knitted fabric as expressed in loops per every 1.5 inches (3.8 cm): 15 denier, 60 gauge stockings.
Nautical. the position of one vessel as being to the windward (weather gauge) or to the leeward (lee gauge) of another vessel on an approximately parallel course.
Building Trades. the portion of the length of a slate, tile, etc., left exposed when laid in place.
the amount of plaster of Paris mixed with mortar or common plaster to hasten the set.
Also especially in technical use, gage.

Origin of gauge

1375–1425; late Middle English < Old North French (French jauge) < Germanic
Related formsgauge·a·ble, adjectivegauge·a·bly, adverbmis·gauge, verb (used with object), mis·gauged, mis·gaug·ing.mul·ti·gauge, adjectivere·gauge, verb (used with object), re·gauged, re·gaug·ing.self-gaug·ing, adjectiveun·gauged, adjective

Synonyms for gauge Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gaging

Historical Examples of gaging

  • This bottle serves the purpose of a standard for gaging the jars.

    Elements of Chemistry,

    Antoine Lavoisier

  • She had lost many of her family, and was able to comfort from gaging the affectionate father's grief.

    The Lincoln Story Book

    Henry L. Williams

  • The numbers opposite the shallow notches for gaging the width represent the number of threads per inch.

    Turning and Boring

    Franklin D. Jones

  • It has been found that next in importance to properly graded aggregates is the gaging of the amount of water used in the mixture.

    Concrete Construction

    Halbert P. Gillette

  • By planing the ends and the width before the thickness is planed, a dressed face is secured all around for gaging the thickness.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes

British Dictionary definitions for gaging




something deposited as security against the fulfilment of an obligation; pledge
(formerly) a glove or other object thrown down to indicate a challenge to combat


(tr) archaic to stake, pledge, or wager

Word Origin for gage

C14: from Old French gage, of Germanic origin; compare Gothic wadi pledge




short for greengage




US old-fashioned, slang marijuana

Word Origin for gage

C20: of uncertain origin; compare ganja



noun, verb

US a variant spelling (esp in technical senses) of gauge



Thomas. 1721–87, British general and governor in America; commander in chief of British forces at Bunker Hill (1775)



verb (tr)

to measure or determine the amount, quantity, size, condition, etc, of
to estimate or appraise; judge
to check for conformity or bring into conformity with a standard measurement, dimension, etc


a standard measurement, dimension, capacity, or quantity
any of various instruments for measuring a quantitya pressure gauge
any of various devices used to check for conformity with a standard measurement
a standard or means for assessing; test; criterion
scope, capacity, or extent
the diameter of the barrel of a gun, esp a shotgun
the thickness of sheet metal or the diameter of wire
the distance between the rails of a railway track: in Britain 4 ft 8 1/2 in. (1.435 m)
the distance between two wheels on the same axle of a vehicle, truck, etc
nautical the position of a vessel in relation to the wind and another vessel. One vessel may be windward (weather gauge) or leeward (lee gauge) of the other
the proportion of plaster of Paris added to mortar to accelerate its setting
the distance between the nails securing the slates, tiles, etc, of a roof
a measure of the fineness of woven or knitted fabric, usually expressed as the number of needles used per inch
the width of motion-picture film or magnetic tape


(of a pressure measurement) measured on a pressure gauge that registers zero at atmospheric pressure; above or below atmospheric pressure5 bar gauge See also absolute (def. 10)
Derived Formsgaugeable or gageable, adjectivegaugeably or gageably, adverb

Word Origin for gauge

C15: from Old Northern French, probably of Germanic origin
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 gaging



"ascertain by exact measurements," mid-15c., from Anglo-French gauge (mid-14c.), from Old North French gauger (Old French jauger), from gauge "gauging rod," perhaps from Frankish *galgo "rod, pole for measuring" or another Germanic source (cf. Old Norse gelgja "pole, perch," Old High German galgo; see gallows). Related: Gauged; gauging. The figurative use is from 1580s.



"pledge," c.1300, from Old French gage "pledge (of battle), security, guarantee" (11c.), from Frankish *wadja-, from Proto-Germanic *wadi- (see wed). Italian gaggio, Spanish and Portuguese gage are French loan-words. The verb is late 15c., from French gager. Related: Gaged, gaging.



see gauge. "The spelling variants gauge and gage have existed since the first recorded uses in Middle English, though in American English gage is found exclusively in technical uses" [Barnhart]. Related: Gaged; gaging.



"fixed standard of measure," early 15c. (surname Gageman is early 14c.), from Old North French gauge "gauging rod" (see gauge (v.)). Meaning "instrument for measuring" is from 1680s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper