two units thick and four units wide, especially in inches.
Informal. lacking adequate space; cramped: a small, two-by-four room.
Informal. unimportant; insignificant: Theirs was a petty, two-by-four operation.
a timber measuring 2 × 4 inches (5 × 10 centimeters) in cross section, when untrimmed: equivalent to 1 5/8 × 3 5/8 inches (4.5 × 9 centimeters) when trimmed.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use two-by-four in a sentence
What about the law against the IRS smacking Tea Party-type nonprofits over the head with a two-by-four?PJ’s Political Forecast: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatheads | P. J. O’Rourke | March 14, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
"None of your pin-head two-by-four shysters that you see here in the East," exclaimed Mr. Sleighter.The Major | Ralph Connor
As if in answer to his name, Bonfire appeared, red-faced and breathless, holding a short two-by-four in his hand.The Boy Scouts of Lakeville High | Leslie W. Quirk
Using the two-by-four as a fulcrum, he began levering the door upward and outward.The Boy Scouts of Lakeville High | Leslie W. Quirk
I say, Phil, should this two-by-four go in with the big side out, or the narrow?The Winning Touchdown | Lester Chadwick
It's a crime for a girl with your looks to be pounding the keys in a two-by-four canning factory in a jerk Maine town.Find the Woman | Arthur Somers Roche
British Dictionary definitions for two-by-four
a length of untrimmed timber with a cross section that measures 2 inches by 4 inches
a trimmed timber joist with a cross section that measures 1 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches
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