the act or process of applying size or preparing with size.
size, as for glazing paper or strengthening fabric.

Origin of sizing

First recorded in 1625–35; size2 + -ing1




the spatial dimensions, proportions, magnitude, or bulk of anything: the size of a farm; the size of the fish you caught.
considerable or great magnitude: to seek size rather than quality.
one of a series of graduated measures for articles of manufacture or trade: children's sizes of shoes.
extent; amount; range: a fortune of great size.
actual condition, circumstance, or state of affairs: That's about the size of it.
a number of population or contents: What size is Springfield, Illinois? The size of that last shipment was only a dozen.
Obsolete. a fixed standard of quality or quantity, as for food or drink.

verb (used with object), sized, siz·ing.

to separate or sort according to size.
to make of a certain size.
Metallurgy. to press (a sintered compact) to close tolerances.
Obsolete. to regulate or control according to a fixed standard.

Verb Phrases

size up, Informal.
  1. to form an estimate of (a situation, person, etc.); judge: They sized him up with a look.
  2. to meet a certain standard: He doesn't size up to my expectations.

Origin of size

1250–1300; (noun) Middle English syse orig., control, regulation, limit < Old French sise, aphetic variant of assise assize; (v.) in part representing late Middle English sisen to regulate (itself partly derivative of the noun, partly aphetic variant of assisen to fix, ordain, assess < Old French assiser, derivative of assise assize), in part derivative of the noun in later senses
Can be confusedsighs size

Synonym study

1. Size, volume, mass, bulk are terms referring to the extent or dimensions of that which has magnitude and occupies space. Size is the general word: of great size; small in size. Volume often applies to something that has no fixed shape: Smoke has volume. Mass, also, does not suggest shape, but suggests a quantity of matter in a solid body: a mass of concrete. Bulk suggests weight, and often a recognizable, though perhaps unwieldy, shape: the huge bulk of an elephant.




any of various gelatinous or glutinous preparations made from glue, starch, etc., used for filling the pores of cloth, paper, etc., or as an adhesive ground for gold leaf on books.

verb (used with object), sized, siz·ing.

to coat or treat with size.

Origin of size

1400–50; late Middle English sise, syse (noun); perhaps special use of size1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sizing

Contemporary Examples of sizing

Historical Examples of sizing

  • We are just sizing up the situation, to find out how much is gone.

    Dave Porter At Bear Camp

    Edward Stratemeyer

  • End grain can be made to stick only by sizing with thin glue to stop the pores.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes

  • "It can be arranged if you pay in advance," he said, sizing her up.

    Nobody's Girl

    Hector Malot

  • Nor was that veteran questioner long in sizing up the cause.

  • The leaders paused, and sizing up the situation, came on at a run.

    The Promise

    James B. Hendryx

British Dictionary definitions for sizing




the dimensions, proportions, amount, or extent of something
large or great dimensions, etc
one of a series of graduated measurements, as of clothingshe takes size 4 shoes
informal state of affairs as summarizedhe's bankrupt, that's the size of it


to sort according to size
(tr) to make or cut to a particular size or sizes
Derived Formssizer, noun

Word Origin for size

C13: from Old French sise, shortened from assise assize


The use of -size and -sized after large or small is redundant, except when describing something which is made in specific sizes: a large (not large-size) organization. Similarly, in size is redundant in the expressions large in size and small in size




Also called: sizing a thin gelatinous mixture, made from glue, clay, or wax, that is used as a sealer or filler on paper, cloth, or plaster surfaces


(tr) to treat or coat (a surface) with size
Derived Formssizy, adjective

Word Origin for size

C15: perhaps from Old French sise; see size 1
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 sizing



c.1300, "an ordinance to fix the amount of a payment or tax," from Old French sise, shortened form of assise "session, assessment, regulation, manner" (see assize), probably a misdivision of l'assise as la sise. The sense of "extent, amount, volume, magnitude" (c.1300) is from the notion of regulating something by fixing the amount of it (weights, food portions, etc.). Specific sense of "set of dimensions of a manufactured article for sale" is attested from 1590s.



c.1400, "to regulate," from size (n.). Meaning "to make of a certain size" is from c.1600; that of "to classify according to size" is first attested 1630s. Verbal phrase size up "estimate, assess" is from 1847 and retains the root sense of size (n.). Related: Sized; sizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with sizing


In addition to the idiom beginning with size

  • size up

also see:

  • cut down (to size)
  • pick on (someone your own size)
  • take down a notch (to size)
  • that's about the size of it
  • try on (for size)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.