- noun the amount of time between particular points in time
- noun a piece of something that is normally measured along its greatest dimension
- noun extent or duration, the distance between two points in space or time
- The longest dimension of an object.
- noun the point at which a ball pitches, considered in terms of the distance down the wicket that it travels after leaving the bowler’s hand; length is the complement of ‘line’ and together they form the basic prerequisites for effective bowlingCitation ‘To be a good judge of a ball’s length is a source of strength in any player’ (Badminton 1888)Citation ‘Rhodes … was accurate in his length, had a deceptive flight, and on a sticky wicket could make the ball “talk”’ (Warner 1934)
- noun the optimum point at which a ball should pitch in order to cause maximum difficulty for the batsman, lying between the point that produces a long hop and the point that produces a half-volleyCitation ‘Spare your vigour at first, now exert all your strength
But measure each step, and be sure pitch a length’ (Rev R. Cotton, ‘Hambledon Song’ 1778 in HM)Citation ‘Flintoff was awesome. Relentlessly hitting a length, he found seam, a hint of swing, four wickets and a place in Ashes legend’ (Hugh Chevallier, Wisden 2006)Citation ‘Harmison struck early, and hard, getting one to rise wickedly from only a yard or so short of a good length’ (Keith Mitchell, Observer 30 July 2006)See also Test match length
- A distance or dimension which has been measured or calculated. Most properly expressed in meters or fractions/multiples of meters such as millimeters or kilometers, although there are various other terms utilized for specific applications, such as angstroms or parsecs.
- The greater or greatest length (1) or extent of something.
- A time interval, especially between specific events. For instance, the time required for a complete cycle.
- The linear storage space occupied by a data structure, block, sector, file, or the like. Usually expressed in bits or bytes.
- noun a six-month prison sentence
- noun the penis. The word is almost invariably used in the phrase slip someone a length.
- the amount of time a wine’s flavour and aroma will stay on the palate after the wine is swallowed.
Origin & History of “length”
Length was coined in the prehistoric Germanic period from the adjective *langgaz (source of English long) and the abstract noun suffix *-ithō. The resultant *langgithō has subsequently diversified to Dutch lengte, Swedish längd, Danish længde, and English length. (German has plumped for the different noun derivative länge ‘length’, whose English relative lenge ‘length’ survived until the 17th century.).