Nearby words

  1. measles virus vaccine,
  2. measles, mumps, rubella vaccine,
  3. measly,
  4. measurability,
  5. measurable,
  6. measure for measure,
  7. measure of central tendency,
  8. measure off,
  9. measure out,
  10. measure up


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

British Dictionary definitions for mismeasure



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 measurementgive the size in metric measure
a standard used in a system of measurementsthe international prototype kilogram is the measure of mass in SI units
a specific or standard amount of somethinga measure of grain; short measure; full measure
a basis or standard for comparisonhis work was the measure of all subsequent attempts
reasonable or permissible limit or boundswe 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 plural) a particular action intended to achieve an effectthey took measures to prevent his leaving
a legislative bill, act, or resolutionto bring in a measure
music another word for bar 1 (def. 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 or get someone's measure to assess the nature, character, quality, etc, of someone
made to measure (of clothes) made to fit an individual purchaser


(tr often foll by up) to determine the size, amount, etc, of by measurement
(intr) to make a measurement or measurements
(tr) to estimate or determineI measured his strength to be greater than mine
(tr) to function as a measurement ofthe ohm measures electrical resistance
(tr) to bring into competition or conflicthe measured his strength against that of his opponent
(intr) to be as specified in extent, amount, etcthe room measures six feet
(tr) to travel or move over as if measuring
(tr) to adjust or choosehe measured his approach to suit the character of his client
(intr) to allow or yield to measurement

Derived Formsmeasurer, noun

Word Origin for measure

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

Word Origin and History for mismeasure
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for mismeasure




Dimensions, quantity, or capacity as ascertained by comparison with a standard.
A reference standard or sample used for the quantitative comparison of properties.
A unit specified by a scale, such as a degree, or by variable conditions, such as room temperature.
A system of measurement, such as the metric system.
A device used for measuring.
The act of measuring.
An evaluation or a basis of comparison.
Extent or degree.
A definite quantity that has been measured out.


To ascertain the dimensions, quantity, or capacity of.
To mark, lay out, or establish dimensions for by measuring.
To bring into comparison.
To mark off or apportion, usually with reference to a given unit of measurement.
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.

Idioms and Phrases with mismeasure


In addition to the idiom beginning with measure

  • measure up

also see:

  • beyond measure
  • for good measure
  • in some measure
  • made to measure
  • take someone's measure
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.